It is no secret that COVID-19 has substantially impacted all industries, and the real estate industry is no exception. With all of the restrictions currently in place to help reduce the threat of illness, real estate agents for both buyers and sellers have had to make significant changes to the way they do business. Here’s how COVID-19 is changing the real estate industry.
How buyers are being impacted by COVID-19
The pandemic has dampened the confidence of buyers when it comes to real estate, as it has for almost every sector. Unfortunately, because traditional buying of real estate involves potential buyers physically entering a home or homes they are interested in, many buyers are pausing their efforts until they feel safe again. As a matter of fact, a study by OJ Labs shows 80% of would-be-buyers have either delayed their housing search or stopped it altogether; 60% of those surveyed cited concerns over their future employment prospects and 54% talked about the inability to see homes in person as a main driver for their hesitance to buy in this market. While concerns over economic instability or job security are most certainly understandable, innovative new ways to view homes for buyers are once again allowing prospective buyers to view home they are interested in. Exchange America offers the ability to search properties virtually as well as place ads to communicate the type of home they’re looking for. They can also participate in online meetings or chats to talk with agents and homeowners to help them find their ideal home. Virtual home tours also allow them to see any prospective homes in their entirety without having to enter the property.
How sellers are being impacted by COVID-19
Like home buyers, home sellers are feeling the pinch because of uncertain times, forcing them to become more innovative in how they present their home to potential buyers. For sellers who are allowing prospective buyers into their homes, heightened health and cleaning measures are required to keep everyone safe. For sellers who prefer not to have the foot traffic in their home, they are offering virtual tours via social media, or even presenting the home via FaceTime or other video platforms. Platforms like Exchange America also facilitate sellers by allowing them to use the same communication platforms of online meetings and chats, as well as the ability to reach potential buyers through their numerous real estate advertising options, thus expanding their reach to potential buyers.
What buyers are looking for has changed with the pandemic
COVID-19 has changed what buyers are looking for in homes, and sellers need to take note to see how they can best accommodate these requests. A few of the requirements that are becoming more popular include:
- Bigger backyards
- Ability for an in-home gym
- Less populated neighborhoods
- Suburban living over city dwelling
There was a time not too long ago when city living was popular to avoid commutes; now people aren’t as concerned about commute time because many are working from home and will likely continue to do so for quite some time.
Buying and selling real estate will continue to change
The current uncertain times will likely change the way real estate is bought and sold forever. While there will always be a desire to buy or sell homes in person, consumers’ demands to have more virtual options, as well as real estate agent’s need for more advertising options, will continue to drive innovative real estate marketing companies such as Exchange America. COVID-19 is changing the real estate industry, and those changes are likely here to stay.