Covid 19: Should I Buy Right Now?

April 7, 2020

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A lot of us feel like we’re just waiting in limbo right now — all actions are paused — and for valid reasons. I mean, afterall, that’s pretty much what we’re ordered to do for the foreseeable future. #ThankYouCovid

But I’ve noticed while Sellers may be hesitant to list For Sale, there is still a decent amount of activity among Buyers. I guess it makes sense… Real Estate services are considered “essential” because no matter what’s happening in the world, people need to find places to live.


There’s a Drop

It wouldn’t be real of me at all to paint a rosy picture at a time when, frankly, the real estate industry is slowing down along with most others. In fact, here’s what we’re seeing from a popular showing service, ShowingTime, which automates showing requests and makes booking appointments easier for Sellers.

ShowingTime reports there’s a drop in the amount of showings through their service among buyers here in Williamson County, specifically in the Franklin and Brentwood areas. Let’s look at the largest segment of our market for showings: The $500,000 to $599,999 price range, which makes up 24% of our market’s showing requests.

Between March 8 – April 7, 2020, this price bracket had 512 home showings.

During that same time period in 2019, it had 811 home showings.

That’s about a 37% drop in showing activity year-over-year during what’s typically peak Real Estate season!

Furthermore, The National Association of Realtors conducted a mid-March survey finding that 48% of Real Estate Agents across the country have noticed a decrease in buyer interest right now. But almost as many Agents said buyers are tempted to shop anyway, without any significant change in buyer behavior, likely due to lower-than-average mortgage rates.


What this Means for Buyers and Sellers

Believe it or not, there is a silver lining in these clouds for Buyers — and Sellers. The buyers out shopping for homes right now are SERIOUS. These are people braving the risks of Covid19, needing to find homes, working within a timeline, and you better believe any Agent showing them around right now is making sure they’re financially qualified first. So we may have fewer buyers… but Covid19 is possibly weeding out the Lookie-Lous. That’s what I believe is the biggest benefit to Sellers: The buyers in the hunt right now are SERIOUS.

For Buyers, your competition has likely dramatically decreased. Those multiple offer situations you’ve been dealing with or bracing yourself for? May not be an issue right now. And at the same time, there are more online resources than ever to help you make your decision without ever having to enter the home.

Take my most recent Grassland listing, for example. It sits on almost 2 acres in Williamson County, just outside of Bellevue, with a walk-out basement and in-law suite. If you’re looking in Grassland, you already know this is probably where you want to be. It’s Williamson County’s best-kept secret.

You’ve hand-picked the schools, you appreciate the short commute times to the hospital district and anything else downtown Nashville has to offer. You love that you can have a peaceful getaway while still being just minutes from grocery stores, restaurants and shopping centers. All that’s missing is touring the house. And there’s an app for that – Like where we’ve posted this home’s video tour, seen here. If you’re still worried about the unknowns, that’s what inspections are for, which most Real Estate Agents will advise you to get anyway.


How to Come Out On Top

Aside from less competition, another Buyer’s edge is low interest rates. Earlier last week, we saw rates come close to historical lows again which means more house for your money!

Brentwood Lender George Margrave shares some notes about monetary momentum, saying, “the Fed is not out of ammunition. Keeping rates low lets the government borrow at minuscule rates thereby encouraging much more fiscal stimulus.”

We’ve been enjoying these low rates for quite some time now. But something to keep in mind is interest rates won’t stay low forever. If we see a climb soon, it’s likely due to all the demand in refinancing mortgages, complimented by continued home sales & purchases.

Real Estate is typically what gets our economy out of the dumps – So if you’re thinking of buying or selling, not only will you be moving your family forward, you’re helping the country as well!

(I can pass along a few referrals for lenders if you need help figuring out what you can afford).


Overall

We may be seeing a slight softening of the market right now – but as mentioned in my previous post about Covid-related Real Estate predictions, I’m betting this won’t last past the minute we’re all given the green light to leave the house again. If we’ve learned anything in this Covid Crisis, it’s how comfortable or uncomfortable we really are in our current homes. And the minute people feel it’s “safe enough,” most buyers will be out in full-force again, and may be joined by an additional group who weren’t previously in the hunt.

I hope this helps you understand your options in today’s market. It’s not all doom and gloom – and there is a silver lining in every storm!

There is ALWAYS opportunity in Real Estate – you just have to take it. These unprecedented times may call for unusual circumstances, but there is some real potential for you to come out on the better side of it all.

If you need to buy or sell a home and want honest advice on what it takes during this unprecedented time, I’ve got you. Call, email or text me. I provide a free consultation to see what your home could sell for – or to get pre-approved to buy. I’m a Grassland area resident, I’m a Platinum Award-winning Williamson County REALTOR® ranking in the top 2% and I specialize in helping my neighbors buy and sell homes!