By Gary Kelley
Before you petition the Community Advocate saying I’ve lost my mind….or am disrespecting those lost to this virus…hear me out.
In this column, I cover relatable real estate topics. Lofty items like “paint your front door because buyers will look at it while their agent fumbles with the keys.” Or the ever-popular, what color should you paint (neutral, and today this means gray)? Or the perennial favorite…declutter your home.
We are just beginning to put the daily annoyance of COVID-19 in the rearview mirror and are venturing out with our stylish masks and the wonderful cologne of hand sanitizer. The virus is still there, and we hope to wash it away through vigilance and actively work to avoid a second surge.
When we flattened the curve for illness, we also flattened the curve for real estate. Our coveted “spring market” is occurring now, during the summer, with homes coming on the market briskly and inventory being eaten up like a hungry PAC-MAN game.
It continues being a sellers’ market as inventory is less than demand. Interest rates are the lowest we’ve seen in generations making home ownership more affordable.
Homes nicely presented and priced correctly are selling. Buyers must be agile. Many thought we would swing to a buyers market and prices would plummet. Supply is not meeting demand, so pricing is edging up and it continues to be a sellers market. The market is very dynamic right now.
By now you are thinking this is another happy happy real estate column by a Realtor looking for your business. There is a soft underbelly. We are seeing well-qualified buyers stumble before the closing because they are “furloughed.” (When did furlough become a synonym for layoff?) And if the furlough is ending in one of the reopening phases, these same well-qualified buyers may not be coming back to a job with the same number of hours or hourly rate. At some point, people may just not be able to pay their mortgages or rent….and then fear will show its ugly head.
If you are planning on selling, this is still a great time to do so. If you must sell, we need to think about where you live after the sale. If you are buying, the interest rate is compelling, and you will need to be agile.
At times like this, having a trusted advisor working with you and guiding you through the process is invaluable. It is not all happy happy out there, and now more than ever working with an engaged (rather than passive) real estate professional (and their extended team of inspectors, contractors, attorneys, loan officers, etc.) is needed to help you achieve your housing objectives.
I’m not a huge fan of Zillow, etc. for buyers. Here is an app for your phone/tablet tied directly to the MLS: www.homesnap.com/Gary-Kelley.
Gary is heard on WCRN AM 830 discussing “All Things Real Estate.”
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call 508-733-6005.
Kelley is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ (CLHMS) and award-winning Realtor. He invites you to follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoveWithGary/