Believe it or not, despite an economic slowdown, real estate experts say there's no better time than now to sell your home. "If it makes sense for you to move now due to your own life circumstances, then now is the right time to list your home," says M. Ryan Gorman, President & CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. "If you're listing your home and pricing and positioning it well, you will likely receive offers quickly because of tight inventory in many markets across the country."
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Curious what factors make it an ideal time to sell a home? We asked Gorman to break down the benefits of listing a property during a global pandemic, and here's what he had to say.
1. Mortgage rates are low.
According to real estate research firm Freddie Mac, the average 30-year mortgage rates hit an all-time low of 3.07% over the Fourth of July weekend, and those numbers continue to decline. This means buyers are increasingly motivated and low rates may incentivize people who weren't previously thinking of buying. "Homes on the market will go fast," Gorman says.
2. Inventory is low.
For a seller, Gorman says a lack of inventory means your home will likely be in high demand, since there may be a scarcity of homes for sale in your market. "Tight inventory puts pressure on price which can entice potential sellers into the market," he explains. "Inventory overall can vary market to market and in the type of home you're looking to buy. For example, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported in May that there is more inventory in attached homes like co-ops and condos than in single-family homes."
3. Homes are selling sight unseen.
In a recent survey, Gorman says 22% of Coldwell Banker agents said they sold a home sight unseen — meaning the buyer did not physically visit the home before purchasing it — since March. "This is largely due to cautions about entering others' homes during a pandemic," he explains. "Agents and buyers are taking advantage of virtual tours to efficiently eliminate homes from their list to limit the number of homes they ultimately tour in person prior to purchase."
4. Prices aren’t declining.
While the economy has taken a downward turn because of the pandemic, Gorman says that housing prices haven't declined. "COVID-19 added pressure on inventory as some owners who would have otherwise put their home up for sale chose not to or were not able to do so due to local restrictions," he explains. "With a lack of inventory, prices have continued to rise and we continue to see a competitive market."
5. Some real estate markets are booming.
Despite the pandemic, Gorman says some brokerages actually saw strong transaction growth. "Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in North Carolina saw an increase in contracts in March, April and May, with sales up 6.8% from the same period in 2019," he says. "We've heard, anecdotally, much of this interest came from folks relocating from bigger cities and other more densely populated states."