Pandemic? What Pandemic?
With COVID-19 coming onto the scene in early March, there was plenty of speculation on how the local and national real estate markets would react. Immediately there was a freeze in the activity as concerns over economic uncertainty took a front-row seat in people’s minds. Sellers pulled their listings from the MLS, buyers stopped scheduling showings, and the entire world collectively paused.
After a short time though, internet home searches started to soar. Being stuck at home meant more time to surf the web and with the overnight spike in the need for home offices, people began “window shopping” for homes online. Once the stay-at-home orders loosened in May, showing requests surged as buyers weren’t willing to put their plans on hold any longer. In fact, the need for more space (or more defined spaces) prompted many that weren’t previously planning a move to enter the marketplace. June saw historic levels of buyer activity, with agents seeing 50% more showings per listing.
The New Normal
To pivot with the “new normal” created in May, our team leaned heavily on our Creative Hub and the utilization of 3D Virtual Tours and Live Virtual Open Houses. This allowed our team to continue to market our listings so our sellers didn’t miss valuable exposure. When June arrived, showing activity rapidly rose to levels higher than what we were seeing pre-pandemic and listings began going under contract in days. Since then, the market has shown no indications of slowing down.
There are a few key factors to mention that are driving the market here in Brevard. The first factor is the low-interest rates for home loans. Due to the current interest rates, buyers can afford more while others can now afford a home for the first time. The second factor is the reduced inventory. Brevard County typically sees between 3,000-5,000 active listings at a given time. Over the past year, the average number of active listings has steadily declined. As of August 2020, we are seeing the active listings for single-family homes hovering around 2,000 homes. This low inventory coupled with the increased buyer demand and affordable mortgage rates means many buyers are now facing multiple offer scenarios when shopping for a home.
Florida Realtors® recently published an article about the record inventory shortage. Click here to read more.
So Is Now a Good Time to Buy or Sell?
The short answer is, yes! If you are thinking about purchasing a property, those low rates work in your favor. Understandably the low inventory will make it more difficult to find your perfect property, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. The best way to ensure you get the home you want is to start by working with a qualified agent. Having an experienced agent guiding you is more important than ever. Not all agents are created equal and making sure you choose an agent that has strong negotiation skills and diligently follows up can be why you win out over other buyers.
If you are thinking of selling, now is definitely a good time. Those low rates will also work in your favor, as it means more buyers can afford your home. The biggest factor that serves sellers however is the low inventory. That means less competition for your property, and therefore a better chance for multiple offers. If you want to maximize your profit, you’ll need to be strategic.
Your first step should be to get a Home Value Analysis so you know what your property is currently worth. Here at the CK Team, we can schedule a Virtual Real Estate Strategy Session to go over your home’s current value. During that conversation, we can also explore options for maximizing your profits by making certain repairs or updates or leveraging a pricing strategy to drive interest and entice multiple offers.