Do I Stay or Do I Go?
Navigating Today (& Tomorrow’s) Real Estate Market
Do I Buy, Sell, or Wait?
If you were considering a move this Spring, that decision suddenly seems fraught with complications, leaving you concerned, confused, and cranky! When making a decision to buy, sell, or wait, consider the following.
First, buyers and sellers who are currently active in the local market are serious, and there are fewer of them.
Secondly, we are coming off a strong Q1 in which inventory was under three months in Davidson County.
What does this mean for BUYERS?
No. If you are looking for a “deal,” don’t expect one. Low inventory means that sellers still have the upper hand. And some may opt to “ride out” the next few months rather than take a low-ball offer. But most sellers in the current market, whether relocating or in possession of a vacant or new construction property are looking to make a sale. *
Since the last time you shopped for a house, there are new protocols for viewing property. These vary by broker, but expect to see some or all of the following:
- Answer questions such as: Have you traveled in the past 30 days? Do you currently feel ill? Are you or anyone in your household experiencing any of the coronavirus symptoms as outlined by the CDC?
- Travel in your own car
- Limit the number of adults who accompany you to the showing appointment; no children
- Refrain from using a bathroom at the listed property
- Keep the 6ft rule at all times
- Wear gloves, a mask, and shoe coverings
- Leave your purse and other personal items in your car
- There are no physical open houses
Viewing the Property
Given the cumbersome protocols, virtual tools are helpful. New listings often include dozens of photographs and virtual tours.
Many virtual tours don’t provide extensive views of the exterior, so take advantage of the fine weather to scrutinize the exterior of the house, examine the landscaping, and walk the neighborhood.
What does this mean for SELLERS?
Should you list your home, our low inventory puts you at an advantage. The significance of inventory is related to a measurement Realtors call absorption rate, which is the rate at which the market is selling properties. How long would it take to sell the current inventory if no other homes came on the market? A balanced market is five to six months.
Preparing Your Home
Preparing your home for sale will be different than in the past. If you want to restrict the number of people who enter your home, staging, decluttering, and minor repairs all fall on you. You may choose to take you own photos. If you are comfortable having vendors working on the exterior of your home, maximize your curb appeal, which will be more important than ever.
Certainly, you will want to rely more heavily on technology, such as virtual staging, 3D floor plans, and drone tours.
Meeting with your agent
Meeting with your listing agent in person may not be possible so take advantage of Zoom, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. The appropriate documents can be sent to you electronically.
Access to your home
Who has access to your home, and what protocols they must follow is entirely up to you. An agent may suggest the following precautions in addition to those listed above.
- Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, handles, and counter tops before and after showings.
- Request a preapproval letter or proof of funds from all buyers prior to touring the property in person.
- Turn on all the lights and open all interior doors prior to showings and ask buyers to leave the house as they found it.
How do I manage a COVID-19 delay?
Once there is an agreement, there is always the chance of a COVID-19 delay, a party gets sick, loses their job, or can’t get back from a business trip. Most of the Realtor associations, including Tennessee, created addendums to address such circumstances.
How Hard is it to Get a Loan?
If you are gainfully employed in an industry that looks resistant to the fallout, good for you.
As for everyone else, tread carefully. This is not the time to be shopping rates on the internet. Go with a local lender who knows the lay of the land (pun intended!) and be flexible. Rates and terms change daily. Talk to a trusted lender for the latest information and advice.
Will the Market Recover?
Let me get out my crystal ball! With the pandemic still raging, the business stimulus in its infancy, and a stay at home order still in effect, who knows?
Happily, Nashville has been on a decade long boom– prices up and inventory down– so even if there is a downturn, it is a dip, not a crater. Lower prices and greater supply mean a more balanced market, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Those who have owned their homes for several years will have built up some equity.
Single Family Home Sales Davidson County
In addition, prolonged confinement and too much HGTV has all of us rethinking our space.
The things you hated about your house before stay at home really annoy you now, whether it is insufficient bathrooms, absence of a dedicated home office, or a tiny backyard.
Expect some homeowners to take action on their new priorities and move– a few blocks or a few counties away.
Finally, conditions/restrictions of the past month may stick around. Virtual technology will play a bigger role in real estate. Buyers and sellers will remain concerned about safety and the economy. Open houses will come back slowly, if ever.
Stay tuned and stay healthy!
*In the past thirty days, there were seventy-nine single family home closings in zip code 37209, which includes the ever-popular Sylvan Park. Of those, twenty-five houses were on the market for fewer than two days.