Are People Actually Buying and Selling Homes During Shelter in Place?

While the real estate market has certainly slowed down over the last few weeks with significantly fewer new listings on the market than our typical Spring season, we've been very active in helping our clients buy and sell homes during this time.

Recent transactions during SIP have presented some new obstacles and, at first, we had concerns about our ability to help clients and close transactions as normal. Fortunately, we've been able to adapt to new practices that are keeping everyone safe with drive-by appraisals, mobile notaries, and electronic recordings at the County. Showing property is under strict guidelines but now with property videos, Matterport 3D tours, and virtual showings, we've been able to successfully give buyers a closer look into homes while practicing social distancing and limiting traffic.

Where else in the country during a worldwide pandemic would this happen? Perhaps only the Bay Area. 

We've been asked countless times what we think the market will look like in a month or two and the truth is, we don't know, but with low inventory and high buyer demand (especially from buyers eager to get out of San Francisco), we don't think anything crazy is going to happen. 

In order for prices to drop, the number of sellers would need to exceed the number of buyers. During SIP, we're seeing more opportunities to negotiate prices with motivated sellers who are unsure of the future market. These opportunities usually occur if the home is sitting on the market or is getting few showing requests off-market. Once SIP is gradually lifted, there will be a flood of new listings coming on the market, and Spring sellers will become Summer sellers. 

We're also seeing many buyers, including our clients, currently taking a "wait and see" approach, and thinking they may get an opportunity to get a property at a lower price. Sure, that could happen, but with the number of buyers that were already in the market, in addition to many young families and professionals now looking to get out of San Francisco, we're expecting demand to remain high, especially on desirable homes in sought-after neighborhoods. However, there could be an opportunity to get properties closer to or below the asking price if we see a spike in inventory and buyers dispersing among properties, creating less competition on any single property. 

Additionally, in order for prices to drop, we'd need to see buyer demand drop which would be driven by job loss, reduced buying power, or skepticism on the economic outlook. We don't see this being a problem in Marin and only a couple of our clients have put their home search on pause. The rest of our buyers remain very eager to purchase a home and want to take advantage of historically low-interest rates. 

Normally, we'd say let's go on tour! Now, please take an extra minute to see some awesome 3D tours of homes. If you have any questions about the protocol in place to ensure safe showings of vacant homes in compliance with the Marin County Health Department's order, please let us know.

Questions? We Can Help.

Questions? We can help. If you would like more information on the market, please call or text me at 707-508-7815. As a top real estate team in Marin County, we have the training and the experience to guide you through this important topic.

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