As many homeowners are feeling less confident about putting their homes on the market due to the risk of exposure to COVID-19 or about buying a new home due to financial uncertainty, local real estate agents said the few homes that are on the market are selling fast and for top dollar.
“I’ve had several situations, especially with homes priced under $200,000, where we’re getting multiple offers,” said Melissa Whitehead, a real estate agent with Red Door Realty & Associates. “I had two homes that I listed in the last couple of weeks, and both had multiple offices abundantly over [listing] price.”
The same can be said for the higher-end homes in Spring, which Connie Santiago, a real estate agent with The Santiago Team of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, said had previously been sitting on the market dormant.
“The $700,000s and up are flying off the shelves more than they have probably in the past four years,” she said. “And [a lot of that is] due to interest rates—that’s a huge motivator right now. If your job is not threatened [by COVID-19], with these interest rates ... that’s like free money.”
Santiago added while it was typical for them to get new listings under contract within 60-90 days, those homes are now under contract within 30 days or less.
Further enhancing the seller’s market, Whitehead said those who are daring to peruse the real estate market during current conditions are serious buyers, as opposed to what she called “looky-loos.”
“Generally, you’ll get a lot of people that just want to go out and look, but they’re not ready to buy right now,” Whitehead said. “Sometimes I’ll get clients that could be looking for a couple of years; you don’t see any of that happening right now. The ones that are taking the risk to go out and look are ready to make a move now.”
While the state’s economy came to halt in April, Marc Wade, a real estate agent with Red Door Realty & Associates, said as the economy has reopened in recent weeks, so have the floodgates in terms of people ready to buy and sell homes.
“I think a lot of people were kind of refraining from committing to purchasing a home or even selling a home because they didn’t know what the future held as far as health, as far as jobs, as far as their families being affected by the coronavirus,” Wade said. “Now, even though the coronavirus has not gone away, I think the community and the housing market in general has kind of adjusted to it and things are back to normal—if not even busier than normal.”
The other half of The Santiago Team—Connie's husband, Jerry Santiago—echoed Wade and said despite the hurdle April posed, 2020 is promising to be one of their best years yet—especially as the summer is typically the peak season for real estate.
“The beginning of the year was fantastic—the first quarter was amazing, and then obviously we slowed down a little bit in April, and then in May people starting poking their heads out a little bit more and now we’re starting to really see a wave of new listings coming on the market and things are starting to get back to normal," he said.