How has the real estate market responded to coronavirus uncertainty?
We’re living in a frighteningly uncertain time. As many states and counties shut down some or all nonessential businesses, the financial effects of the coronavirus are being felt across the country. No one can know the full extent of coronavirus’ market impact at this point. Nevertheless, we wanted to share what we’ve seen in the real estate market so far.
While the CARES Act should be a boon for most businesses, it does jeopardize some loans. Borrowers with credit scores below 680 may no longer qualify for government loans, which could put some real estate transactions in limbo. Rates seem to vary day-to-day and will continue to fluctuate as long as there is so much uncertainty in the market. We’re unlikely to see any large, high-risk loans at this point.
More and more real estate transactions are being done as digitally as possible. Title companies are having buyers, sellers, and Realtors, attend closings via video chat. Realtors are turning to virtual “open houses,” which they can now schedule on MLS, and conduct through Facebook live or watch party. We’re seeing some stagers turn to virtual consultations as well. This is a time to get creative and use all the digital tools at our disposal.
MLS Days On Market
If a listing needs to be withdrawn, due to coronavirus, MLS will now reset the days on market. No one knows how long that policy will last. It’s not an automatic feature either; you should email them as quickly as possible if you find yourself in this situation.
Zillow and Closing Contracts
Some home sellers turn to “iBuyers” as a hassle-free way to sell their homes. Zillow’s iBuyer service, Zillow Offers, has come under fire for cancelling all of its closing contracts. Citing coronavirus concerns, they are offering to pay either $5,000 or all sellers costs for having the house put on the market by a Realtor group as compensation for the contract terminations. It’s difficult to imagine home sellers having much trust in Zillow once the group resumes normal operations.
More and more folks are at home with little to do. That makes it a great time to focus on online ads and marketing. Realtors are reporting high numbers of leads from their digital advertisements right now.
As scary as it is to buy in the middle of a crisis, many people still need to move for the same reasons they had before the pandemic began. The best we can do to minimize coronavirus’ market impact is to make real estate transactions as online-friendly and streamlined as possible. If you have any questions about how staging can help sellers and Realtors in this time, don’t hesitate to contact us!