How COVID-19 is Effecting the Real Estate Market

Dated: March 24 2020

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Many people are asking me what I think will happen to our housing market as a result of the CoVid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown...Of course this has never before happened in our history so I can only refer to my past experience with the Great Recession - but then our market was the opposite of what it is today.  Then we had an overabundance of listed homes for sale and because of lending practices at that time, many of those homeowners were in debt up to and beyond the value of their homes.  Once property values started to decline, those homeowners (many of whom also lost a job as a result) owed more on their home than it was Worth.  Today lending standards follow much stricter guidelines and our market is lacking inventory (homes for sale).  This state of the market leads me to believe that as soon as the "gates" are opened again and we are free to meet together, listings will greatly increase and buyers will have a pent up desire/need to get in the market to take advantage of the amazing mortgage interest rates available to them. 
So my prediction is a Sellers' market when we first rev up, followed by a balanced market once we get enough homes listed to start to appease the demand.  Although the first quarter of this year and maybe half of the second quarter will be slow, we should see an incredibly busy third and fourth quarter!! 
If you are a prospective buyer, now is the time to talk to a lender to get your pre-approval started so you will be ready to move quickly.  If you own a home currently, check to see if you can get an equity or bridge loan so that you will be able to make a non-contingent offer.  If you might need seller concessions because you do not have as much cash on hand, continue saving and explore the possibility of receiving a gift of money so when you make an offer on a home it will be a strong offer.  If you are a prospective seller, use this time to declutter, clean, paint and begin boxing belongings to store so that you can get your home listed right away once that is possible.
In the meantime everyone, I wish you good health and good spirits.
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Linda Fennell

Never before has it been as important to work with a knowledgeable Realtor during your real estate transaction. Today's housing industry is more complex, and requires the guidance of an educated prof....

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