You don’t need us to tell you that COVID-19 (AKA Coronavirus) is all anyone has been talking about lately. And for good reason — this is a pandemic that’s unprecedented to our current population, and one that’s leaving its mark on society in a big way. This is certainly true in Colorado, which is becoming one of the US’s higher-ranking states in terms of total infections. We’re strongly feeling the effects of COVID-19 here, and you’ve probably already started to notice how many businesses are closing their doors — perhaps you’re even staying home from work yourself.
COVID-19 is interesting because it’s something we’ve never quite dealt with before. The last severe global-scale pandemic was the 1918 flu, and it’s almost apples and oranges comparing the two, due to how much society has radically changed since then. Many industries are in a state of confusion and flux. This couldn’t be more true for the housing market — as the virus becomes more ubiquitous, many folks are starting to wonder whether or not they should be buying or selling their home during this turbulent time.
Truthfully, nobody has the answers to these questions. It will be a long time before we can truly evaluate how COVID-19 impacted our society at large, and until then, we have to take things day-by-day. But, if you’ve been considering listing your home, here are a few things to know about COVID-19 and the housing market.
COVID-19 Is a Wild Card
Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: COVID-19 is a complete wild card. While we could sit here all day and pontificate about how the market will respond to the virus, the reality is that this is something we’ve never quite seen before, and anyone who claims to have all the answers is only fooling themselves. We have very little to work from in analyzing the long-term ramifications of COVID-19.
Comparing it to past pandemics isn’t quite fair, as nothing in recent history has generated the amount of turbulence that COVID-19 has caused. Comparing it to the 1918 flu isn’t very helpful, as our world has completely changed since then. Virtually every factor is radically different, from technology, to home prices, to general buyer/seller behavior, and so on.
Meanwhile, it’s also not quite prudent to use previous recessions as a model for predicting the housing market. If we do go into recession (which we very well might), the conditions will be far different from those of 2008. The Great Recession was directly tied to the banks and housing market, whereas this one would hypothetically be caused by society collectively hitting the pause button.
We are in uncharted territory right now. With that being said, there are a few general takeaways right now:
The Market Is Slowing Down, But It’s Still a Good Time to Sell
COVID-19 is a strange phenomenon in the real-estate market, because just a few weeks ago, it was a seller’s market. Demand was high (especially in Colorado), mortgage rates were good, unemployment was low, and the market was booming. While a lot has changed since then, that doesn’t mean that selling your home is off the table. Here are a few reasons why selling your home is still viable:
Things Will Likely Get Worse Before They Get Better
Once again, we’re not saying that this is empirically true, so don’t take any of this as hard facts. But all things considered, it’s likely the COVID-19 situation is going to get worse before it gets better. The US is projected to become the next big epicenter of the virus, surpassing even Italy in cases. It’s not unlikely that we’ll see more severe lockdown measures in the coming weeks or months, which means that a lot of people will be out of work. There are still people out there looking for new homes — it’s better to sell now while you can, because the market could severely slow down pretty soon. In fact, it’s already happening.
Home Prices Aren’t Really Lowering
The natural expectation for a crisis such as this is for home prices to tank. After all, less demand equals cheaper homes, right? Well, not really, according to current data. Home prices usually go down when the number of sellers outnumbers the buyers — they have to go lower to stay competitive. But what we’re seeing here isn’t really a decrease in demand, it’s more of a total pause of demand altogether. The housing market hasn’t fundamentally changed, it’s just that people are temporarily putting their lives on hold. Should things go back to normal, most people will be right back where they started, and like we said, the pre-pandemic housing market was a great place for sellers to be, especially in Colorado.
If COVID-19 continues to lock down society for months to come, it’s ostensible that people’s long-term financial prospects could be burdened more than we’re currently expecting. In this case, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not prices would go down, but if they did, it’s all the more reason to sell now, while prices are still favorable to sellers.
There Is Still Demand
Even as many people shy away from major life decisions during this pandemic, the bottom line is that there is still demand, and this will continue to be true. There are always people out there who are in a position to buy a home. Some people are in a natural transition period where moving into a home makes the most sense for their life circumstances. Some folks might be profiting off the digital economy that’s thriving as brick-and-mortar businesses shut down. Others might be rushing to get into a mortgage, which could be safer than renting during a period of crisis.
There could be a thousand different reasons why people are still out there searching for homes. The point is, demand hasn’t dried up completely, and presently, the market is still on your side. While the market is slowing down due to the pandemic, don’t let it fool you into thinking that selling your home is hopeless.
How We Can Help You Sell Your Home During the Pandemic
There’s a lot to be said about demand, home prices, mortgage rates, and so on. These are definitely things to keep an eye on, but the actual selling process is also being affected. Due to social distancing measures which are only likely to get more severe in the coming weeks, there are certain adaptations that everyone in the real estate market has to go through. But make no mistake, we’ll be here to help you through it all.
The most notable change for sellers comes down to open houses. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to hold traditional open houses while social distancing is in effect, as it’s impossible to predict how many people will show up — you don’t want 30 strangers inside your home while this virus is actively spreading, after all.
At Mountain State Realty, we specialize in one thing above all else: digital marketing. We’re veritable experts in getting your home seen in every corner of the internet, and during this time where in-person showings will be reduced, it’s more important than ever to have someone on your side who can market online. We can be an invaluable asset in helping you find a buyer, and the best part is that we charge a flat rate of $3,500 for our services. This is thousands less than what you might pay in commissions working with other realtors, and everyone could stand to save a little money while this virus goes around.
Do you have questions about selling your home during the COVID-19 pandemic? We’d be happy to answer them and to work with you closely to get your home sold. Contact us today to get started.