Real Estate Changes Due to Coronavirus
As it goes with all other areas, the real estate world is deeply feeling the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Ever since communities throughout the country have reported cases of the extremely contagious and potentially fatal virus within their midsts, individuals attempting to sell homes have found themselves somewhat at a loss when it comes to ways to continue with the process. While it is too early to know just how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect the real estate community – both the buyers and the sellers – it is clear that a change will take place.
Some of those changes are fairly benign, perhaps being solid ideas regardless of whether or not the global community is fighting against a pandemic. Realtors are reporting a much higher number of things such as hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes being made available to people who decide to come through on an open house or even a scheduled visit. A valuable safety measure, the increased ability for people to clean their hands is rapidly becoming not only a good idea but a requirement for individuals preparing to enter an unknown space.
Open houses in general, previously a key item in the tool belt of home sellers, are becoming fewer and fewer. Reports from around the country suggest that increasing numbers of people are choosing to skip the open house step altogether, preferring that any prospective buyers instead schedule an appointment. Some real estate agencies, including ours, provide virtual home tours as an alternative. The goal with this move is to cut down on any unnecessary traffic, including the casual lookers who might not even be interested in purchasing a home and are instead just enjoying a stroll through the neighborhood.
For homebuyers, this time has also become a one of uncertainty. While many markets were previously experiencing an explosion of individuals looking to buy a home, the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in many individuals who were previously searching or about to begin their search to stop the process in its tracks. Fear of contracting the virus outweighs most people’s interest in purchasing a new home, meaning that the market is rapidly losing the purchasing power that drove it to such highs during the past few years.