Here in Pennsylvania, due to COVID-19 and Governor Wolf’s orders, we’ve been under a stay-at-home order for 30 days now, with at least a couple more weeks to go. Non-essential businesses have been closed and most other businesses have seen a drastic change in how they are operating. Residential real estate is currently considered one of PA’s non-essential businesses, so in-person business is prohibited. However, real estate transactions are still happening.
Real estate agents, home buyers, and sellers alike have been finding creative ways to continue the home buying and selling process. Virtual tours, FaceTime, and Zoom have all aided in helping buyers to see homes without actually leaving the safety of their own homes. Through phone calls, FaceTime, and Zoom, agents have worked with clients to answer questions, give advise, and write offers (which can be signed electronically).
Mortgage companies and title companies have shifted much of their work online or “drive-by”. Settlements have occurred with buyers and sellers visiting title companies separately, communicating with title workers via phone, and signing paperwork in their car.
While things in real estate certainly look a little different these days, home buying and selling is still possible.
An easy follow-up question here is, should I still buy or sell? While we can’t advise on what’s best for you personally (only you can make that decision), we can tell you a few things to consider in these current market conditions.
Buyers are more serious. Buyers who are continuing their home searches right now are typically not “window shopping.” These are home buyers who have a real need to move, and so home sellers are seeing less questions from buyers who aren’t serious about their home.
Sellers are more flexible. Sellers are more willing than ever to consider flexible terms, mostly because all of us find ourselves living through the same fluid situations.
Less traffic inside homes. One common frustration from a typical home seller is all of the people coming in and out of their homes. With the current guidelines, traffic is severely reduced, limiting this nuisance of selling.
Buyers have less competition. The current state of the market has certainly impacted buyers to those who are most serious, and those who are able to buy; but it has also seen some buyers deciding to postpone their home search for various reasons. This has left the market with less buyer competition for those who are still looking.
Take these factors into consideration when deciding if it’s still a good time for you to make a move, and then talk to a real estate professional. They are best equipped to answer your questions about these uncertain times.
We at The Craig Hartranft Team are always here to answer any of your real estate questions, or help with any of your real estate needs.