You may be struggling to stay positive right now and that’s okay. As long as the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we’ll be facing a world of uncertainty. In the meantime, do what you can to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.
There is a silver lining to the pandemic. In an effort to maintain a strong housing market, the Federal Reserve will (hopefully) keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future. So, if you’re wanting to buy or sell a home, now is a great time to do so.
At American Home Agents, our clients always come first. That’s even more the case as we navigate real estate transactions through the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what we’re doing to ensure the safety of our team, clients, and community during this time.
State of the industry
Let’s start with the fact that people are still interested in purchasing a home. According to HousingWire, Redfin saw nearly a 500% increase in requests for agent-led video home tours. Zillow, meanwhile, enjoyed a similar increase in the creation of 3D virtual home tours.
The flip side is that brokerages are putting traditional open houses on hold. This change in the process won’t be received well by every buyer, and rightfully so, as some want to be able to experience a house for themselves. Just know that flexibility will be key for those home shopping in the coming weeks and months.
How we’re adapting
Remote tours have been in place for several years at American Home Agents. Peter Stur, our managing broker, says that demand for virtual home showings will be more common until the pandemic subsides.
“From the seller’s side, I’m seeing more listings with a ‘virtual tour’ button,” says Stur. “That could lead to a video tour of the house or a Matterport link where you can walk through the house virtually.”
It’s worth mentioning that not all listings will have such an option. Stur affirms that if a virtual tour is available, it will be utilized by the agent.
So what happens if you want to look at a home but it does not have this feature? Well, you can expect your agent to be sensitive to social distancing during your in-person tour. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recommends no side-by-side walking with an agent while in a home.
Buyers should also be mindful that their agent may be asked not to attend their closing.
An opportunity for buyers
Prospective home buyers faced stiff competition on the market this time last month, especially in Colorado. Stur explains that a number of first-time buyers lost out on purchasing a home because their offer was up against many other stronger offers where the buyers had more cash.
“We were faced with so many multiple offer situations before this,” he says. “The coronavirus shifted the supply and demand curve quite a bit. It opened up opportunities for first-time home buyers, teachers, and lower-income buyers and helped them to not get beat out by more affluent people.”
We provide an essential service
It’s a question posed in another article from HousingWire: Do real estate agents provide an essential service? In short, the answer is yes. Not only does the industry provide homes for millions of Americans, but it also creates just as many jobs.
The NAR cites there are 9.5 million jobs in real estate and that every two home sales generate another job in our country. With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why 17 states deem real estate an “essential” business or service. And yes, Colorado is one of them.
Continued dedication to our clients
NAR policies are constantly changing as they relate to COVID-19. For one thing, we’ve been encouraged by the NAR and our attorneys to cease all open houses indefinitely. Stur confirms that our agents haven’t held an open house in several weeks.
Again, though, you don’t necessarily have to pause your home buying journey at the moment. New technology and savvy real estate agents allow you to go through the process from the comfort and safety of your own home. Plus, thanks to historically low interest rates, you can afford more home, for less.
Realtor.com claims that this spring home buying season will be the last affordable one in several years. Why continue to pay your landlord’s mortgage when you can start building equity of your own?
At American Home Agents, we’re here for you. Our agents are truly invested in every client, whether you’re buying your first or forever home. You can count on us to take every protective measure to help you through your home sale or purchase.
Contact us at (303) 695-5900.