This housing market is changing faster than at almost any point in history. We AREN'T dealing with your normal recession. These are unprecedented times, and call for quick adaptation to the process of buying and selling real estate. I have received dozens of calls and emails asking for insight on how to best prepare for a future home sale or purchase. Here is the most frequently asked questions I am receiving along with my professional opinions and articles to support my thinking.
Q: How is the real estate process changing from the impact of COVID-19? What should I be prepared for as I plan for my future move?
A: I have attached a new Standard of Procedure for my brokerage which prioritizes virtual services that include: Open Houses, Showings, Property Tours, Digital Paperwork and Notary Services, etc. Our business has been altered by the Governor's Executive Orders to follow CDC guidelines and practice social distancing at all times. In person meetings should be avoided except in situations when absolutely necessary. We are adapting to this by offering a suite of virtual options for both searching for a home to buy, and marketing homes for sale.
Many sellers want to know if waiting to sell is best. Like our next question and answer, trying to time the market is never a good idea. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't. We have the information now showing that homes are still moving, albeit at a slower rate, and pricing has remained relatively flat. Keep in mind, when the stay at home order is lifted, there is a high probability that a large influx of home listings will occur, which may swing the market in favor of home buyers temporarily.
Q: Since I am thinking about buying a home, will waiting help me to get a BETTER deal?
A: Timing the market is ALWAYS a bad idea. First off, there are winners and losers in every market. We have seen the sellers getting the best of buyers for the better part of 5-6 years in the DC Metro Market. What will most likely occur as supply and demand ratios correct, is that we will enter into a more Balanced or "Normal" market. The average in the US, historically is a market that has 6 months of inventory. Meaning, with the amount of buyers purchasing homes, IF NO NEW LISTINGS were listed, then it would take 6 months to sell every home. The last 2 years, that timeframe has been UNDER 2 Months. SO, we have a long way to go before we get back to a Balanced Market. The reality is things should slow down, but if you are holding out for a DEAL as a buyer, you might be waiting a long time. Additionally, interest rates being low now, may equal more savings over a 30 year mortgage, than a discount on the purchase price.
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