In spite of the current pandemic people still need to buy and sell homes. If you’ve had a major life change recently, whether with your job or your family situation, you may be in a position where you need to sell your home sooner rather than later. Rest assured, with the right strategy and fewer sellers on the market, you can sell your house safely without giving away the farm.
Both Oregon and Washington have adopted COVID-19 Guidelines developed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for buying and sell homes. These guidelines were revised by each state and prescribe how homes can be listed, marketed, shown, and sold.
Open houses are not allowed. Fortunately, in both Oregon and Washington buyers can preview homes. During buyer showings the number of people in a home is limited and personal distancing and no touch guidelines must be adhered to. Home inspectors can inspect homes following the same guidelines. Appraisers can complete the usual appraisal process. Title companies have adapted their procedures to limit exposure to buyers, sellers, and title company staff. In other words there are effective work procedures in place today to list, market, show, finance, and close on a home.
The Market Determines the Price
An old real estate adage is that the market determines the price and that determination is based on supply and demand. Looking back (see image below) to January of 2018 we can see that when inventory was low prices went up. When inventory was high, prices went down. During the first quarter of 2020 there was a steady decline in inventory which created a corresponding rise in the median sale price. Then, when Covid-19 hit the market in mid-March, some sellers decided to take their home off the market. Others, who were thinking of selling, decided to wait until the the dust settles. This has resulted in far fewer homes on the market than we typically see at this time of the year. In other words, we are still in a seller’s market.
There are Qualified Buyers Out There
Here’s the other thing – given the stay-at-home orders implemented across the country – people are spending a lot of time on the Internet right now. Buyers are actively looking at homes online and fortunately for us in Portland Metro – when they see the right house they can actually set a showing appointment and view the house.
Even with the recent surge in layoffs, there are still motivated, qualified buyers in the market. Accurately priced homes are selling quickly … and in many cases they are getting multiple offers.
There Is Less Competition Right Now
Given the low inventory prior to Covid-19, combined with the fact that some sellers removed their home from the market or delayed putting their home on the market, has created lower than normal inventory environment that works in your favor if you’re a seller. When the pandemic passes there will likely be a surge of homes coming to market. Whether it makes sense to go on market now or to wait until later depends on your individual situation, but getting ahead of that wave may give you a distinct advantage.
We work hard every single day to stay abreast of this changing market and have the skill to leverage the latest technology to help sell your home safely with minimal hassle. We aggressively promote homes on social media to generate lots of buyer interest. Then we use virtual tours and video tours to show homes to prospective buyers. We connect with buyers and their agents through video chats and online meetings to nurture and complete transactions electronically. When buyers are a potential fit for your home an appointment is scheduled and conducted according to the Covid-19 Guidelines.
Moving Forward Together
We’re in uncharted territory with Covid-19. The medical facts about the virus change daily. Meanwhile, the media generates a constant stream of fear inducing headlines. This combination can be overwhelming. To stay grounded during these uncertain times, it serves us well to recall a line delivered by F.D.R during his inauguration speech in 1933 – “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This phrase, at the height of the great depression, gave people hope and a new way to look at a world wide depression that had been going on for three years. Ultimately, this phrase served as one of the pillars that led to the rebuilding of the economy.
Our mission is to provide you with accurate timely information about the real estate market. We follow the best minds in the real estate and share that information with you as it becomes available. Armed with actionable information, you can set aside fear and actively plan for your future. To that end, we’re here for you. Let’s get together for an online meeting to review the market and how it relates to your situation. To be clear this isn’t a sales call — this is one of the ways that our team gives back in these challenging times. To schedule a chat, click the Let’s Talk link and schedule a time that works for you: Let’s Talk.
Like you, we’re counting the days till life returns to normal and we can once again go to Powell’s Books, our favorite restaurants, the beach, the mountains, and all the activities that make Portland an incredible place to live. In the meantime, we’re here for you … stay safe out there … James Bradley