By Miranda Solomon
Has COVID-19 had an impact on the real estate market? Of course, it has! Has it changed the way we conduct real estate transactions from beginning to end? Yep! Is it still a great time to sell AND a great time to buy? Absolutely! Choosing an agent that is confident, knowledgeable, a skilled negotiator, trustworthy and calm is more important now than ever before.
Selling homes has always been an in-person business. In the past, I’d receive a call from someone that I know. They’d say, “Hey, I want you to list my house.” After doing a quick happy dance, I’d ask them when I could come over to have a listing consultation. I’d go to their home, walk around, take notes, make recommendations, talk pricing and put their home on the market. That process changed when we were all asked to stay home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to a multitude of video conferencing apps, I can continue meeting with my seller clients to evaluate their homes and make marketing and pricing recommendations. I have also made changes in the way I market homes to the public. Thankfully, virtual tours are now the norm and 3-D virtual tours are the best! You can get up close and personal with a 3-D virtual tour and buyers are responding favorably to the attention to detail. I would be remiss if I did not mention that housing inventory is still extremely low, so home market values have been steady.
What about the buyers? Is it still a great time to buy? Absolutely. Current mortgage interest rates are among the lowest we’ve seen in the last few years. In 2019, the average mortgage interest rate was 4.25%. As of the end of the first quarter of 2020, average mortgage interest rates are still in the mid 3’s. What does that mean for you? It means it’s a great time to buy! Thanks to technology, buying a home today is also much more efficient. As I said, the 3D virtual tours are great for buyers that want to see every inch of a house before deciding to buy. Buyers can comprehensively tour homes from the comfort of their own home before narrowing their search to homes they’d like to see in person.
Buyers and sellers need an agent that is willing to be patient and take the time to fully explain the nuances of today’s “during-and-post-COVID-19” real estate market. I have been blessed to enjoy a business that is 98% referral-based! I think of my clients and the people that refer clients to me as my extended family. When I ask my clients at the end of the transaction how they feel about the service I provided for them, the common theme I hear is “you exceeded my expectations.” My advice to any buyer or seller in this market is to clearly define your expectations and choose the agent you believe will exceed them!
Miranda Solomon is a native of Charlotte and is enjoying her fifth year in the real estate industry. She is an individual agent with Charlotte Native REA powered by Keller Williams Ballantyne-Area and specializes in first-time homebuyers and sellers, as well as investor purchases. To contact Miranda, email [email protected] or call her at 704-408-8171. Give Charlotte Native Real Estate Advisors a like on Facebook!