Selling Real Estate in Unusual Times…
We recently touched base with our local real estate expert, Jeremy Russell, Broker-In-Charge of RE/MAX Reach in Mauldin to get a pulse on what’s happening in Real Estate in this unprecedented market. Check out our interview with Jeremy below.
360: What’s happening in Real Estate at the moment? Is anyone buying or selling?
Jeremy: The good news is that homes are still selling. In fact, with rates at a historic low, it’s actually an attractive time to buy or sell! Due to supply, prices have held steady, so we aren’t seeing a drop in pricing due to the COVID-19.
360: How have things changed in light of COVID-19?
Jeremy: Of course, our main goal is to keep our clients and agents safe. We are keeping up to date on best practices from the CDC, which seem to change as we get more data on COVID-19. Our secondary goal is to keep real estate business – an essential part of the economy – moving forward whenever possible. We are all in unchartered territory and learning to change and adapt daily.
360: Are sellers still listing or is everyone waiting?
Jeremy: Some people are waiting due to their specific uncertainties, but the sellers who are listing are experiencing good results, in part because of the lower than usual inventory. We were low on inventory before this happened, so now even more. With safety in mind, we are now including FREE interactive 3D tours of our listings in addition to professional photos. The 3D tour provides a potential buyer with an interactive virtual walk through that is a very accurate representation of the property and minimizes unnecessary visits to the home. Here is an example: rem.ax/2xVJmfs
Also, we aren’t doing Open Houses the traditional way anymore. Instead, we can either host a Live or Recorded Tour, or utilize our 3D tours to engage buyers to do a walk through.
360: So people are still buying?
Jeremy: Yes! For those buyers who are in a position to purchase, with the current rates, they are experiencing more buying power than ever! Pricing is remaining relatively firm, so we aren’t seeing housing prices take any big hits because of the COVID-19, but with lower rates, they can afford a more expensive house now for the same payment as if they wait and the rates go higher.
360: Are you still showing properties?
Jeremy: Yes, however, we are taking serious precautions. We are suggesting buyers drive separately now so we can limit close encounters. We are limiting showings to only the main decision makers, and we are requesting that everyone entering the home wears a mask, especially the agent. We keep hand sanitizer with us at all times, limit what is touched inside, and wear gloves if necessary. We can also use Facetime or other video chat apps to help buyers who are at higher risk.
360: What about all the paperwork involved in real estate transactions?
Jeremy: We have always used DocuSign for safe and secure remote signatures, and we are using it more than ever now! We can also utilize programs like Zoom to video chat with clients and review documents remotely if needed.
360: What about closings? Are attorneys still doing them?
Jeremy: Closings are continuing to happen, but they are set up differently now. Usually, you have the buyer and seller agents, lender, buyers and sellers many times with their entire family present sitting in a conference room. Now, attorneys are only allowing the signing parties, and most have moved the closings to take place outside to minimize exposure (Curbside Closing). The agents will of course ensure everything is lined up prior to closing, but now we just can’t attend in person.
360: What’s your advice to people who had planned to sell during the spring?
Jeremy: Every year, there are sellers who wait for spring to sell, so I always inform them that in the spring there is more competition. I think some sellers may be inclined to wait a little longer because of COVID-19, so the competition in another month may be even greater! If you are a seller who is ready, let’s talk through the pros and cons of waiting versus going forward with listing now. Once all of the restrictions are lifted, there will likely be another surge of buyers and sellers into the market. We are still selling homes in 24 hours now!
360: What’s your advice to people who had planned to buy during the spring?
Jeremy: We have some great resources in place to help you find the perfect home. Much of the home buying process can be done online. We can set up a customized search and email you properties that fit your criteria within minutes of them going live. Also, RE/MAX recently launched a new mobile app that has some incredible search features. We are happy to provide video tours of specific properties in real time or recorded if the buyer is at higher risk.
Jeremy: Ultimately, you could view the same number of homes but only actually visit a single property! Like I mentioned earlier, once the restrictions are lifted, there will be a surge of buyers and sellers into the market. Regardless of when you start making offers, you will have competition… If you are able to buy, now is a great time. You can take advantage of the lower interest rates and get more buying power.
360: Like everyone, it sounds like RE/MAX Reach is changing to meet current needs. Any final thoughts to share?
Jeremy: We are all in this together and we will get through this! We are all trying to figure out creative ways to take care of business in a safe, but effective manner. We understand that everyone is in a different position right now, so we will adapt and utilize technology and our other tools in order to best serve that client if they are needing to buy or sell. We are here to help!
360: Thanks, Jeremy! We appreciate your time explaining the current Real Estate market in the Upstate. Keep up the great work!
Have more questions? You can reach out to Jeremy and his team directly at (864) 250-4440 or visit their website at www.CarolinaReach.com. You can also follow along via social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Happy buying or selling!
Get your official introduction to Jeremy Russell and his team here.