Homebuyers and sellers showing resilience
When industries begin speaking of a "new normal," it can be difficult to discern how many of its old practices are on track to permanently change and which ones are merely expedient, addressing the current pandemic needs. Whichever the case, few industries will look exactly the same as they used to, including real estate.
RealtyBizNews reports that the U.S. government has declared the residential real estate sector an essential public service amid social distancing, but it asks how current buyer and seller sentiments compare to pre-pandemic aspirations, citing a homes.com survey of 1,000 people from across the country. It reveals that even with the economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, more than 48% of those who planned to before the pandemic still want to move forward with their plans. "While shelter-in-place orders across the country hinder events like open houses and home tours, most of the real estate industry has pivoted into operating predominantly online to help support these consumers," says the report.
Of those surveyed nearly three-quarters of the respondents said they're continuing to search for homes online, compared to under 24% who said they're putting the search on hold until things are back to normal. On the flip side, only about 34% are willing to tour homes during this time, with the majority saying they will wait out the pandemic. Of course, many consumers are unfamiliar with how virtual tours work, since this is a fairly new phenomenon. The report indicates that nearly 29% don't know what their current options are to navigate the purchase process, with a similar number expressing they have several homes in mind but hesitate because they are currently unable to tour them.
Sellers, however, are not as hesitant. According to the survey, "Despite concerns over market instability and how long the pandemic will last, 45% of those who planned to sell their home during this time are still moving forward as planned, either adjusting as necessary or exploring what other options they have." This is despite sellers feeling burdened with adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly a third of them are unsure of how to move forward, and the lack of buyer traffic does not help.
Consumers ready to buy or sell need not put their plans on hold, but would benefit by contacting their Realtor to see how they can access virtual tours and open houses. With many states now offering online closings and loosening restrictions on home inspection requirements, you have more options than ever to jump back into the market.
Source: Homes.com | Realty Biz | TBWS