The ups and downs of the country’s economy usually drive real estate trends, but this year’s coronavirus pandemic is casting a shadow the likes of which have rarely, if ever, been seen. What are the ramifications for the real estate market? Here’s a look at the likely short- and long-term effects of coronavirus restrictions.
• Real estate agents are allowed to show only vacant homes and open houses are banned, bringing sales to a near standstill.
• Sellers are being asked to sign a Listing Agreement Coronavirus Addendum, which stipulates the conditions under which the home may be shown. In addition, agents, sellers and buyers must sign a Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration (PEAD) assuming risks related to COVID-19.
• Online video tours, already a significant element in real estate marketing, have become even more essential, with many of them being conducted live.
• Agents are not permitted to distribute business cards, flyers and other paper-based marketing materials.
• Appraisers, inspectors and other professions involved in real estate transactions may or may not fall under the “essential services” umbrella. Regardless, many of them may choose not to work at this time. As a result, delays are likely in any potential transaction.
• Most governors have stated plans to roll back restrictions slowly, meaning recovery will be gradual, not immediate.
• The buyer pool may continue to remain low, depending on how many are reluctant to resume normal activities. Those who do forge ahead will enjoy the benefit of lower interest rates.
• As transactions continue to experience delays, cash sales may become the preferred method.
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