COVID-19 is causing a major shift in real estate. The housing market is changing. This means the way you do your job as a real estate agent is as well. With so much real estate and COVID-19 uncertainty, here are some tips to help you increase your home sales both during and after the pandemic.
Housing Market Trends and Predictions
No one necessarily has a crystal ball when it comes to predicting the future of the housing market. However, the trends we see now can shed some light on possible predictions. The economic impact of COVID-19 has furloughed or decreased the income of millions of Americans. Yet due to the various financial assistance options included in the CARES act, home foreclosures are surprisingly low. Because of this, home inventory is also low. If income instability continues and if these relief options dry up, foreclosures could increase. As a result, inventory would go up causing prices to go down. This possible outcome could be a great opportunity for consumers with good credit and a stable income looking to buy. Alternatively, this prediction could also be quite damaging to vulnerable homeowners.
Regardless of how the housing market pans out, taking steps to build rapport and stay competitive now can better prepare your real estate business for any future outcome.
Recognize the Heightened Emotional State of Clients Selling or Buying a Home
Global pandemic or not, shopping for a new home or putting your current one up for sale is an emotional experience for many people. When you add in the presence of a COVID-19, emotional reactions may be heightened. This can be especially true when it comes to home showing safety and whether or not consumers should wait or pull the trigger on a home deal right now.
Accommodate the Digital Needs of Buyers and Sellers
With nearly the whole world shifting from in-person to virtual appointment preferences, the desire to conduct business digitally is more prevalent than ever. When it comes to COVID-19 and real estate, many sellers are requesting not to allow personal showings. Meanwhile, most buyers prefer to at least start the process online. As a real estate agent, your ability to adapt and fulfill these requests is crucial. Online appointments, virtual home tours, and an eye-catching website can help your real estate business adapt to these changing needs.
Follow Safety Protocols
At some point, an in-person showing may eventually be necessary to close the deal. When this happens, be sure to follow all safety protocols for both you and your clients. This includes limiting the number of people inside the home and requiring all individuals to wear a mask. Proper handwashing and maintaining a 6-foot distance at all times is also advised. Following safety protocols such as these is not only wise for everyone’s health, but can also provide a layer of reassurance for your clients. For more COVID-19 health and safety tips, visit the CDC’s website.
Understand the Obstacles of Obtaining a Mortgage During and After COVID-19
According to MarketWatch, mortgage rates are at an all-time low. However, the requirements for buyers to get approved are actually on the rise. As outlined above, the economic impact of COVID-19 is causing many lenders to pull back on the level of risk they’re willing to approve. Now more than ever, the need for excellent credit and a sturdy financial portfolio are weighed heavily during the approval process. Pair this with high unemployment rates and a decline in consumer credit, and your clients may run into obstacles while trying to get approved for a mortgage.
Offer Buyers a Digital Solution to Improve their Credit
Excellent credit can give your buyers a stronger opportunity to purchase a home or win in a bidding war. With this in mind, one of the best ways to build rapport and stay competitive both during and after COVID-19 is to offer your subprime buyers a digital solution to improve their creditworthiness. As a ScoreShuttle partner, you can offer your clients access to a variety of online tools they can use to increase their credit scores. Most importantly, the ScoreShuttle software will send both of you an alert the minute they reach the goal score you set. Not only can this help you gain trust within your real estate market now, but it can also set you up for more home sales and referrals in the future. To learn more about ScoreShuttle’s credit and software solutions, email us at [email protected]
Resources: [https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares] [https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html][https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mortgage-rates-are-circling-record-lows-will-the-feds-actions-push-them-lower-2020-06-11]
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