Advice in Navigating the Real Estate Market at Present
During this trying time, it’s hard to not have a sense of uncertainty of when things will get back to normal. While we are practicing social distancing and to remaining at home as much as possible to help do our part in slowing down the effects of COVID-19, we look at advice from the National Association of REALTORS® and New York Times Real Estate expert on navigating the Real Estate Market during the current COVID-19 Pandemic.
Currently, Governor Cuomo has put a hold on open houses, in person showings and in person presentations, so we can all do our part in trying to stay safe and slow the pandemic. This gives an opportunity for REALTORS® and clients to virtually tour houses. Virtual tours are a great way to get a sense of a property from a safe distance, without physical interaction, while still being able to ‘tour’ a house. There are several services available that REALTORS® can use to host virtual tours, such as ‘Floor Plan Online’ and “Immoviewer’. Speak to your local Ulster County REALTOR® about setting up virtual tours so that you can still move along with your home buying journey.
There might be a silver lining in this situation if you are a first time home buyer according to The New York Times Real Estate Expert, Rhonda Kaysen. ‘Depending on your appetite for risk, the coming months might actually prove to be a better market for first-time buyers than for other buyers, partly because you don’t have to worry about trying to sell a home in uncertain times. And list prices may fall if sellers worry that buyers are dropping out.’ While it is hard to predict the future, for first time buyers, this might be a time to consider pushing on in your home buying search.
Kaysen also makes the point that mortgage rates are at a historical all time low, which can be an attractive offer during this time. ‘The government is slashing interest rates, aiming to keep buyers in the market. Lenders are reporting a spike in mortgage applications — and as of last weekend, people were still making offers on homes. “If interest rates stay at these historic lows or even go lower, people will be pushed off the fence to buy a home,” said Zack Tolmie, a home-lending officer at Citibank.’ Now may be the time to continue working with a REALTOR® through virtual tours, and take advantage of the low interest rates.
And lastly, the NAR encourages REALTORS®, buyers and sellers alike to not panic, and stay informed about the ever changing situation. Making smart, educated decisions that keep your business and clients safe is the best policy at present, while we navigate the months ahead during this uncertain time.
For more information in finding and speaking to your local Ulster County REALTOR®, and to have the most up to date information in the ever changing situation, make sure you visit the Ulster County Board of REALTORS® website.