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The Wethman Group's Real Estate News - March 2020 - Covid 19 Impacts

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams
March 2020
Wow – what a few weeks it’s been! I know the world seems upside down right now, and the real estate market is no exception. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to have slowed down all that much—yet. Generally we’ve been seeing some people pull back because of the fear of recession and stock market drops, but there are still plenty of buyers out there who see this as a window of opportunity for negotiation. Sellers still want to sell, and are generally moving forward with listing unless they are in a high risk group for Covid-19. Agents are adjusting their business practices, however, and the Wethman Group is no exception. Here are some of the changes we’ve made to deal with the current situation, and changes we're seeing in the marketplace:
-         We’re generally advising against open houses, as most serious buyers will make appointments with their agent, and are looking to avoid crowds themselves. As a result, we’re listing properties earlier in the week (Monday/Tuesday) and not necessarily waiting until the weekend for offers. We’re seeing drops in foot traffic across the board, but a big increase in online views. It's more important than ever to stage and have excellent photographs when listing.
-         Given that more people are working remotely from home, we are looking to capitalize on that trend by providing online 3D tours and/or video tours as well as floorplans to capture more views, and make sure that buyers who make appointments already have a pretty good idea of whether the house will work for them.
-         On the occasion that we do host an open house, we will be providing a hand washing station and/or sanitizer, booties and gloves, and eliminating sign in methods that use shared pens. We’re also considering Facebook Live open houses, and open houses ‘by appointment’ to limit the number of people in a home at one time.
-         We’re moving nearly all of our buyer consultations and listing appointments to online as a first step in the process, rather than in person meetings. We’ve been using GoToMeeting for years now, so this is simply an expansion of our current option to meet online. We will also be leveraging Skype, Zoom, Facetime and similar tools for listing appointments that may require us to “look” around the house as well.
-         The economic situation has indeed given some buyers pause, especially if they were significantly invested in the market. But buyers who are confident in their job security are pressing ahead, and see this as a short term external shock to the economy, which will (eventually) rebound when the crises has passed. Don’t be surprised if we see a higher than usual number of ‘under contract’ properties fall out of contract status and go back on the market as the situation evolves.
-         Rates, while extremely volatile day to day, continue to be near historic lows. It’s important to note that the Fed Funds Rate, recently slashed to near zero, is not directly correlated to mortgage rates, however. Look to the 10 year Treasury as an indicator. It’s still a great time to refinance (depending on the day).
The market situation is evolving daily, and we’re here to help answer any questions about where we see the real estate market headed, and what works best for your current situation. It’s going to be a wild ride, but at some point things will settle down. Please reach out if we can help!
We're starting a new feature: Tips and tricks for all things related to home buying, selling, and owning! Need some advice on something specific? Just contact us!
Homeowners: With warm weather on the horizon, it's a great time to do outside maintenance and schedule any outdoor repairs. Small business owners like handyman services, painters, power washers, etc are all eager for work--support your local small business in this time of need if you can!
Home Sellers: Don't think that the market has stopped simply due to the current situation. We're seeing big jumps in online traffic, so it's more important than ever to have properties staged, with excellent photos, floorplans, and 3D tours/video walk-throughs available. To make buyers (and yourself) more comfortable, set up a hand washing station, along with gloves and booties.
Home Buyers: If you were planning to use retirement funds or portfolio investments as your down payment, you need to check on your valuation--as painful as that may be right now. It may be worthwhile to take out a larger loan (e.g., 95% LTV instead of 80% or 90%) so that you don't have to 'lock in' the current losses.
Not sure if you still want to buy in 2020? Wondering what Covid 19 means in terms of inventory and pricing?
Join our next home buying webinar, scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 pm. Contact us for login details!
As always, if we can ever help with your
real estate needs,
please don't hesitate to reach out.
Wethman Group Perks: Power Washers
We may not be able to host 'parties', but we can still enjoy the outdoors -- wash away winter grime by using one of our power washers, and enjoy the sunshine to come. Available to all clients to borrow FREE! Contact us: wgperks@wethmangroup.com for more info.
We're happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents--let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city. 
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

You are doing such a good service for your client base, reminding them that the real estate market is still humming! 

Mar 30, 2020 03:14 PM