The news seems like Groundhog Day these days, repeat of the same thing, just the numbers change a little or the items change, from the shortage of toilet paper to now hamburger. All of this has many buyers and sellers on edge about the safety of their family. Several sellers have opted to pull their houses off the market and wait until the dust settles. Buyers on the other hand want to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Inventory is low at this point, and even though construction was deemed an essential business, getting materials, cabinets, windows and other items has been an issue.
Many plants and factories shut down for 6 to 8 weeks and have an enormous backlog. This has slowed down many new home builders from completing projects on time.
So, the question is when should a seller put their house back on the market? That is going to be different for each seller. It is a personal comfort level, and no one answer is right. You can be confident that as REALTORS® we do everything we can to be respectful and cautious when showing a home. I have hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes that I use on all doorknobs and other areas that might be touched. Buyers are also aware and generally remain as hands off as possible. Everyone is aware of the situation and does their best to protect themselves and others.
The month of May has always been a great time to list your home. Buyers have their tax refunds (and maybe stimulus checks), kids would normally be getting out of school, and the grass is greening with warmer temps. This gets buyers excited and ready to pull the trigger. Prices are holding strong in this seller’s market. However, many buyers have been laid off or furloughed for many weeks and that affects their ability to purchase a home.
A buyer must have a job in order to buy a house, right? Not exactly the case in these crazy times. If a buyer has been laid off due to the COVID-19 situation and their employer intends to rehire them once they are allowed to open, the buyer can still purchase the property.
There are many new loan programs that have opened over the past three months, some with interest rates below 3%. This allows a buyer to afford more house and make a higher offer than they would at the old 3.5% FHA program. There are also 5% down construction loans and 3% down conventional insured loans. The buyers in today’s market have many options to better their position when making an offer. This generally translates into better offers for sellers.
So, when you are ready and feel comfortable about getting your house on the market, find an experienced broker and have a conversation about your concerns. I am confident together you can come up with an appropriate plan that works for you and your family. As REALTORS® it is one of our specialties, coming up with creative ideas and solutions to make things work for everyone.
This article provided by Matthew Trudel, Owner of Five Star Realty Windham 207-939-6971