April/May 2020 Real Estate Q & A
Zachary Adams is a residential real estate expert with 100s of transaction in the west metro of Minneapolis. To submit a question for Ask a Pro click here.
Is it time to put my house hunting plans on hold or time to take action?–Jon L., Plymouth
Thanks for your question, Jon. This is one I’ve heard a lot lately and the answer depends greatly on your individual situation. Sitting down with an agent can help yours come into focus, but a few general guidelines can also help:
The first consideration in uncertain times like these is economics. Before making a major financial decision it is always important to assess your cash available, job security and other factors. Many of these are unknowns for people in the current environment. This has led many buyers to put things on hold. Interestingly enough, this reduction in buyers has been accompanied by a less aggressive reduction in sellers.
With basic supply and demand at play, you can probably see where this headed. Less competition means a better environment for buyers willing to jump in. So if economic factors line up favorably for you, now may be a great time to buy a new home.
On top of decreased competition, mortgage rates are incredibly favorable. This means you may be able to buy more house with the same payment you may have qualified for just a few months ago. So depending on economics and your timeline for staying in your new home, now may be a good time to buy.
But all of this begs an obvious follow-up question: Why are sellers less inclined to push the pause button?
This is because the risk to a seller is lower than to buyers in this environment. Listing a house doesn’t cost anything in and of itself to the homeowner. If your home sells and the sale can proceed, all is good. If you list and it doesn’t sell, the seller is not out any money. Add to this that amid fears about the virus, listing your home is even easier than it used to be. Open houses have been halted and nearly all visits are virtual. This means fewer showings and less stress overall. It also means folks listing homes need to ensure their agent is aggressive about marketing.
No longer is simply getting listed the largest goal. Today photos, video tours, staging and engaging a well-connected local agent are all factors that have moved from important to crucial.
Having said all of the above, the biggest factor with real estate right now is the same as it is for everything else—safety. Here the industry has been proactive in taking steps to keep everyone as safe as possible. These include the aforementioned halt on open houses, a focus on technology and a major reduction in interactions. And of course we’re prepared and ready with the inevitable hand sanitizer and other on-site considerations.
A Modified Approach
All in all it is not business as usual for real estate, but rather an adapted reality that lines up well for some and leads to delays for others. Knowing which makes sense for your family begins with a virtual consultation with an agent.
At Zachary Adams and Associates we are open for business and actively engaged in adapting practices to keep you safe while meeting your needs. If now is the time, we’d love a chance to walk you through our amended processes and help you understand the timeline, finances and specifics of your situation.
Whether you are listing, buying or both, we’ve got a plan to help mitigate risks and keep you on track and working toward a bright future. Contact us today to get started.