The month of May sees us entering the second month of the safer at home order in our area. While it’s likely had a significant impact on your lifestyle, what impacts has it had on our local real estate market and how we work?
We’ve definitely seen a decrease in real estate activity since the start of this public health crisis, but business is still moving. Thanks to the technology and modified practices available to our agents, homes are still being listed and sold, even if they are fewer in number. Our inventory has gotten tighter, as some sellers are holding off on listing their home until things stabilize with our current situation. This has resulted in many homes receiving multiple competing offers and we expect this trend to continue, even as safer at home restrictions are eased in the coming months. New single family and condo listings in Dane County were down 40% for the month of April, compared to the same time last year. Home sales in the same categories were only down 9.5%. This further tightening of inventory means that buyers need to have a plan in place and be prepared to negotiate if they want to snag the right home in this market.
As a reminder, our agents have the best technology and support to keep their businesses moving during this time. Meeting the needs of their clients looks a little different right now, but they are still able to do so effectively and safely. Some of the adjustments we have made to our daily practices can be found below.
Remote and Virtual Showings
Thanks to today’s vast assortment of technology aimed at keeping us connected, virtual showings (and even open houses) are easy to set up. Agents can utilize programs like Face Time, Skype, Zoom Meetings, and Facebook Live (among others) to keep showing homes while decreasing the number of people actually coming into the home.
Self Guided Virtual Tours
With the help of 3D Matterport technology, potential buyers can take themselves on a tour of a home without having to leave theirs. This is a great marketing tool that agents are using to get their listings in front of buyers with zero risk to buyer or seller. If a buyer likes what they see, a private virtual showing can be arranged. For an example of this technology “in action” check out this listing, courtesy of The Restaino-Endres Team.
Electronic Document Preparation and E-Signature Services
We have the ability to prepare all of your listing or offer documents remotely, and send them to you electronically for review and signature. All necessary documents can be drafted this way – there is no need to meet in person. The program is very user friendly and even works on mobile phones too – no computer needed.
Electronic Earnest Money
You no longer need to write out a check for earnest money deposits and physically deliver it. Thanks to a new program, we can accept earnest money deposits electronically, removing another point of physical contact from real estate transactions.
“Drive Through” Closings
Closings can be done with minimal contact, and without even leaving your car! Your title company can do most of the work over the phone and when it comes to closing day, your paperwork will be brought to your car for you to sign.
Our market is still moving forward and transactions are still being completed, in some cases entirely contact-free. If you have questions, concerns, or are uncertain about anything during this time, please reach out to us. We are here for you!