We are living through some concerning events and there is no doubt in my mind that we will have some long term changes as a result. Anything I say is purely speculation but it’s speculation based on what I am currently seeing in the local real estate market. If you are buying or selling a home I’m sure you have some concerns. If you were thinking of making a real estate move this year you are probably now thinking “what do I do?” Let’s look at what we know first, but please read all the way to the end of this post for my opinion.
I’m not going to get into the particulars of the virus itself. That’s a situation that is changing day to day and hour by hour and frankly I’m not qualified to comment on that. I can say though that I have seen and heard of virus concerns in the real estate market.
The Virus is Affecting Showings
I showed a home on Friday where the seller did not realize we were coming. He had intended to cancel showings during the Corona outbreak but it was never cancelled and the showing was approved either by his agent or his wife. He allowed us in the door to see the home since we were there but he was definitely concerned about the virus and someone bringing it into the home accidentally during a showing.
On one of my listings I had a second showing scheduled. The wife had seen the home but the husband was going to come into town to see it a couple days later. They cancelled the showing citing the Corona virus as the reason. The home is vacant and has not had anyone living in the home since well before the virus arrived in the U.S. but that didn’t matter.
Buyers are Cancelling Plans
A buyer client of mine cancelled looking at homes and instead was opting to stay put in her rental. Her concern was more because she worked for a major manufacturing who had shut down due to virus concerns and her income in the future was now in doubt. Other agents have talked to have had similar situations where buyers have cancelled going out to look for homes.
I had second buyer client postpone a trip here later this month due to the virus concerns. They have had long range plans to move to Tennessee but were flexible on the timeframe.
In another situation a seller I was talking to decided to hold off on listing their home. I have another buyer from out of town I was hoping to preview her home for. Since she and her husband are now both working from home and have their small children also at home they have too much to arrange to show the home.
One thing is absolutely clear: none of this is easy for anyone. This is uncharted territory with extremely rough waters to navigate.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t hope though!
What Does this Mean for Local Buyers in Tennessee?
The Real Estate Market Effect
The immediate effect on the market is that showings are down overall. An increasing number of buyers are staying home. Travelers are not coming into our state from some of the prime areas that buyers have been coming from in recent years like Illinois and California. For buyers this may actually be an advantage, here’s why:
- Fewer buyers means less competition for housing
- Home prices will probably level out and not increase much more.
- There will be price drops as sellers see showings drop.
Interest rates are all over the place right now. In the last two weeks I’ve seen them from the same lending company dip under 3% and then climb up to 4%. Everything is very volatile as the market is dealing with the ramifications of the virus.
As a seller there will be some challenges ahead. Fewer buyers will mean we need a different expectation on prices. Moving forward will are likely to see an increased demand for properties with acreage (something I love helping people with) and the ability to be more independent. There has been an increased interest in “prepper” properties and self-sufficiency.
Dave’s Opinion – The Real Estate Agent
It’s hard to make predictions but I do believe that we will bounce back and bounce back strong. Our economy was doing great for the last couple years and this virus is a speed bump. It has our attention now but soon with the treatments they are devising and the effort underway to prevent its spread the Covid 19 virus will be behind us.
When the viral danger has passed we will again see people planning their moves, their vacations, their investments, and their future. When that happens buyers will be out in storm since our Middle TN market already had a housing shortage. I believe we will see more competition for houses over a shorter period of time as buyers and sellers race to get their homes under contract. We will have to make up for lost time.
In the fall things will settle down again to a normal fall real estate market. That is my hope and what I truly believe. For now though we must Keep Going. Keep moving forward and keep doing what needs done.
If you would like to setup a private consultation for your home via phone, video, or in person contact me below. I’m always happy to answer your questions and get you information. Don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here for you.
Be well and be healthy!
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