With people and businesses be effected by the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine/shelter-in-place orders, it’s no surprise that the real estate world has been impacted as well. What does come as a surprise though is how it has been impacted. Unlike many businesses that have had to temporarily close their doors, people involved in real estate have completely changed how they do their work to keep business going strong.
Anything and everything that can happen virtually or electronically is being done – from virtual showings to electronic signatures, agents and lenders alike have completely changed how they do business. The only issue? There aren’t enough houses to go around!
At least in our Baton Rouge market, there has been no shortage of people looking for a new home. Low interest rates combined with flexible work schedules and being stuck inside more than usual has led to a surge in people looking. But sellers are hesitant to list their home and have multiple people come through it – potentially increasing their odds of getting sick.
The result? Stiff competition between buyers and homes that are being listed are moving quick. So what are we doing to help our buyers? No matter where you are in the process, Southerly has you covered – we have free guides and checklists if you’re just starting your search, virtual options for meeting us or any vendors you may need, and have taken extra precautions to help flatten the curve when you’re ready to get out and start looking.
Already or potentially planning a move? Here are some quick tips for moving during this time:
Keep a bin of just the essentials. Think about what you’re going to need the first couple of nights so you don’t have to dig into the moving boxes right away.
Label all of your moving boxes with the room AND what is inside. For example, if the box says “Kitchen” – add “mixing bowls, glassware, pots and pans, etc”.
Move the boxes to the garage instead of directly inside the house. Unload and unpack them room by room instead of dumping everything in the house.
Move all linens yourself. Put them in duffle bags or vau-seal bags. If you have people helping, they won’t be grabbing actual pillows or blankets but just the outside.
Pack a cooler of food that you can bring to the house on moving day. That way you’ll have your essentials without having to go to the store during your move.
If you’re hiring movers, cover all upholstered furniture and rugs yourself.
Schedule yourself a gap between closing and moving day. That way you can have things like internet and cable installed prior to being in the home. You can also make several trips and move in gradually if needed.
More of a numbers person? Get ready for some stats! Here are a few charts showing the state of our current market with a brief explanation below:
As you can see, our market experienced a drop in everything compared to last year when quarantine began, but has since seen a steady increase as things slowly return to normal. But the important part is how you see a bigger jump in pending homes and showings this year compared to last, while at the same time seeing less homes on the market. This leads to our current situation – a seller’s market. Inventory is low and demand is high, causing stiff competition between those who are looking.