As of this writing, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much an issue. It has affected virtually all facets of everyday life, and remains at the forefront of current events, even with many states beginning to slowly open back up public places, businesses and more. Although restrictions are beginning to loosen nationwide, health officials are still urging the public to take every necessary precaution they can and to take a responsible approach to exit quarantine restrictions to hopefully prevent further spreading of the coronavirus. Like everything else in our day-to-day lives, selling a home remains affected as well. But also like everything else, it is very possible to sell your home in the current environment, as long as we all remain diligent in how we handle the process in order to keep everyone safe.
What To Expect When Selling A Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Throughout the pandemic, Arizona considered real estate practices “essential businesses,” and for good reason. Buying or selling a home is a vital part of life for many. Whether you’re selling to relocate for a new career opportunity, or needing to buy because of a growing family, the real estate market is constantly active, even through the toughest of situations. When selling your home, especially in the current environment, the first step is finding a great agent to help facilitate the intricacies of maneuvering through a transaction during a pandemic. Luckily for you, if you’re reading this, you’ve already found one! The Elite Team is always here to help with whatever your specific situation requires!
Once you’ve decided to list your home to sell, many details need to be considering during the process. Inevitably, in order to sell, buyers will need to see your home. Right now, we utilize many different approaches to ensure all involved are safe and comfortable. Every particular situation is different, with different sellers requiring different precautions to facilitate showings. Some sellers have opted to not allow in-person showings at all. However, we can accommodate this while still making the home visible in our marketing through the use of 3D interactive virtual tours that can allow a prospective buyer to scan a room, look around as they wish, and see every corner of the house, all from the convenience of their phone, tablet or computer.
Some sellers may be comfortable with the agent and prospective buyers touring their homes. In this case, we utilize every responsible precaution to keep everyone safe and do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. First of all, we maintain a strict form of confirmation, in which an agent that wishes to view the home with clients must first request an appointment. The seller will then confirm the appointment through our system if the requested day, time, and circumstances are acceptable to the seller. As the seller, you can determine what level of buyer viewings you are comfortable with. Many different precautions can be utilized to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety. Prior to the showing, the buyer’s agent can be asked to complete a questionnaire regarding the particular clients that will be entering the home, such as whether or not they are experiencing a fever or symptoms, and if they’ve had any contact with anyone known to have been infected with COVID-19. Once the showing appointment is confirmed, more steps can be taken for the highest-levels of safety. At your home, we can provide all of the necessary items to keep everyone safe. Hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks can all be available immediately upon entry, in case anyone entering doesn’t have their own. We can also provide disinfection wipes so anyone viewing the property can wipe down any door handles or light switches they may touch during their visit. The seller can also greatly minimize the amount of contact required by leaving on light switches, opening doors, and perhaps even opening a few kitchen cabinets to showcase features, preventing anyone visiting to need to contact any of them on their own. An additional precaution that can be taken by a seller is to limit the number of people that are allowed in at one time. Many sellers are not allowing children at showings and limiting the number of people viewing with an agent to two, to prevent any large groups of extended family and friends to beside the home at any given time.
Traditionally open houses have been a marketing tactic utilized by many. Right now there are very few open houses occurring, simply because of the logistics of keeping people safe. It can be very difficult to monitor the number of people that may end up coming in, ensuring that they aren’t symptomatic, and making sure everyone is utilizing the protective equipment correctly. Maintaining proper social distancing can also be rather challenging. Any seller should make sure they understand the risks and rewards of allowing an open house before deciding to do so.
Real Estate Now: Shortage or Excess?
Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way we do things, and has affected the Flagstaff real estate market, but not in the way you may think. One the past few years, Flagstaff has been in what is considered a “seller’s market,” is that the number of buyers in the market was greater than the number of homes for sale, thereby creating more demand and driving home prices up. This year has been no exception. However, there have been even fewer homes listings, while buyer demand still remains very stronger, which has further driven up home prices. While there were fewer homes pending in May vs. May of last year, June has seen a large increase in pending homes, bringing us to the same levels of homes pending at the same time last year. However, there are many fewer homes for sale this year, which can be frustrating for current buyers. Currently, there are under 30 single-family homes total listed for sale in Flagstaff under $400,000! This extra shortage of inventory may be related to sellers choosing to wait until the pandemic is more controlled, or simply because the timing for their circumstances may not be right. However, if you are considering selling, it may be a perfect time, as you will have less market competition, as well as in influx of buyers during the busiest season of the year! If you’re wondering “what’s my home worth?” just contact us for an up-to-date market analysis for your property.
Housing Predictions Over The Next Year
In such unprecedented times, many simply want to know what the real estate market may do over the next 12 months. Whether it’s timing the sale of their home to make a move or trying to determine the best time for them to buy, forecasting the real estate market can be vital. While it’s always difficult to predict the real estate market, the current COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more so. As treatments, precautions, progress are made in fighting the pandemic, we should hopefully see a return to normalcy, and more sellers deciding to list their homes for sale, as well as further progress on the completion of new home communities around Flagstaff. Even with that, buyer demand is very strong, so home prices should still continue to increase. All indications are that interest rates will remain near their current historical lows, allowing more buyers to enter the market for the first time, and current owners to be in a position to upsize or downsize their current home. All of this should lead to a continued active market in Flagstaff. But again, the pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetimes and could have a significant effect over the next year, depending on how much progress is made in fighting it.
Will There Be A Real Estate Bubble Soon?
As was said above, the Coronavirus Pandemic makes predicting the real estate market even more difficult than usual. But currently, there are no signs of a real estate bubble. Many have memories of 2008 and worry if the same will happen again. The big difference between 2008 and today is mortgage lending. In 2008, lending guidelines were overly relaxed, unfortunately allowing many Americans that were not really in a financial position to purchase a home do so anyway. This ultimately resulted in many homeowners realizing they really couldn’t afford the home they had purchased, which lead to a systemic massive increase in foreclosures and short sales. That underlying cause is not the case today. Current mortgage lending guidelines remain very rigorous, in order to ensure that a borrower will be able to maintain the mortgage payment on their home and allow them financial stability. In short, it can be much more difficult to obtain approval for a mortgage today than in 2008. However, even with more rigorous lending guidelines, there is a large buyer demand nationwide, and Flagstaff is no exception. Which means that there are many buyers in the market, they are well-qualified due to rigorous lending guidelines, which ultimately leads to an increasing real estate market. With current trends like these, a “bubble” seems unlikely. But again, the pandemic is a large unknown, and how it will ultimately affect not just the real estate market, but every market, remains to be seen.
In summary, COVID-19 has of course affected how the real estate market is currently operating. While it may seem daunting, there are many ways in which proper precautions can be taken to sell a home as safely as possible. While everyday life is absolutely affected by the pandemic, the Flagstaff real estate market remains strong and shows no signs of slowing! While it can be challenging to navigate any real estate transaction, it is challenging now even more so. But with the help of The Elite Team, realizing your real estate goals even in times like this is possible!