We are getting through the second half of 2020, and the world pandemic is still at its peak – affecting every business on the planet and dooming lots of them to bankruptcy. The loss of jobs and uncertainty has shaken the stability of the economy and the comfortable living of people. This is the exact same thing that the real estate industry is experiencing right now.
Since people are losing their jobs, they fight hard to make ends meet, and buying a new home seems like an impossible prospect at the moment. Unfortunately, no buying new homes means real estate agencies closing, home safety inspectors becoming unnecessary, painters, contractors, plumbers, construction workers, and every other professional included in selling a home from start to finish.
According to Realtor.com, by the end of March 2020, new listings were down 29% annually while the total supply of homes for sale was down 19%.
This brings us to the realization that if something doesn’t change soon, many real estate-related businesses will close forever. If you are a real estate agent and feeling the consequences and the threat of failure, instead of giving up, you should fight harder now more than ever. To help you out, here are several ideas to serve you as stepping stones. Ensure that the following trends are implemented in your daily work to notice a sign of improvement.
As it is recommended to social distance yourself to protect your and your loved ones’ health, try virtual tours. Thanks to technology, real estate agencies can now showcase the listing online, presenting every angle and every single decorative element in a digital form – as a virtually staged photo or 360° virtual tour video of the home that is selling. Homebuyers could take advantage of the virtual showings before. Still, today, it is imperative for them to make a decision based on what they see online before going to check a few selected listings in real life.
What is changed from the past habits of using virtual tours is that today, people use them to select only a few homes they are interested in and going to check only those that caught their attention instead of making a long list of homes and seeing them all. Hence, the importance of your listings to be virtually presented is enormous and evident. The better they are visually presented, the more attention they will get.
Low Mortgage Rates, High Prices
Even though the mortgage rates are lower than they have ever been, the houses’ price is still high. What is even more astonishing is that low housing inventory is being sold for higher prices, which is an issue for the past few years. The homebuyers often end in a bidding war with other potential buyers who can offer something more than the asking price. So, what should be done in such circumstances?
First, it is vital to know that houses’ prices won’t fall down even though the world is battling an invisible enemy and, it looks that, is slowly losing the battle. So, homebuyers should act quickly. Find the listing they want online, and don’t wait to check it out. There is not much space for reconsideration and rethinking, because bidders will always push further.
Cash Writes the Rules
Isn’t that obvious, especially in these trying times, that the one with the cash is more likely to close the deal that those who depend on other financing alternatives. A recent trend suggests that requirements eased for higher down payments and credits cores than previously. The statistic says that almost 40% of the homebuyers put less than 20% down on their homes since 2018, which is by 2% less than a decade before. It is clear that the homebuyer that can provide a more significant down payment will eventually get the house.
Focus on Remote Workers
As more and more people are working from home, and as it seems that this trend won’t change tor the upcoming period, real estate agents should focus on selling to remote workers because, simply, the location of the new home is less important for them. What happens is that remote workers are cutting ties with the cities they work, giving them the independence to choose a new home wherever they want, not being dependant on their company’s location.
This being said, suburban space is becoming a lot more attractive than ever. The privacy and somewhat seclusion it offers excites homebuyers to consider listings they had never considered before.
Focus on Representing Real Homes
When I say real homes, I mean a place where a family lives and spends a lot of time around each other and not a house that mostly serves as a showpiece. Cvovid19 made all people realize that being at home is important, and thus it needs to be comfortable. It needs to be safe and offer a cozy environment that will have living and working purposes. As a result, home-offices are the biggest must-haves in a home right now, so houses with such a room that can be transformed into an office with a view will sell a lot faster than those that don’t.
Garden and Greenery
Staying home all the time might become a real health and mental problem if you have to spend all day inside, between four walls. The solution is not inviting people over all the time, since social distancing means staying isolated with your loved ones, preventing the threat of getting the virus or spreading the infection. Instead, the solution is having a garden and lots of greenery that will make the quarantine period a bearable time.
Because of that, representing houses that have an attractive exterior increases the chances of selling it faster. Homes with pools, cabanas, and outdoor living room features like fireplaces, TVs, ovens, etc. are what the homebuyers are now looking for. After all, people try to reimagine their lives and lifestyles in the comfort of their homes instead of traveling and spending time away from home.
Hannah Derby is a real estate enthusiast who often blogs about selling, buying and designing real estate properties. Having been part of an interior design studio Virtual Staging Plans for two year in the past she has completely fallen in love with home and office design, so she feels that she can help people improve their homes with her experience always discussing trends and novelties in the industry. She also loves sharing her opinion and findings on current trends in the real estate industry.