Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley: What to Expect During and After Covid-19
What can you expect the buying and selling process to be like right now?
Since it takes 30-60 days to close a real estate deal, we are not yet able to see the full effect of the current market conditions. I have a deal with a 45-day escrow that will close next week (knock wood) and so far, it’s been progressing normally. We allowed the buyers request for a 45-day escrow because lenders were extremely busy in mid-March with re-financing. We thought banks and appraisers needed more time; however, that was not the case. The loan closed right on time, and the appraisal was actually done early. My lenders have told me they have returned to a ‘normal’ pace, so looking back, the 45-day escrow was unnecessary.
All of the professions involved in home buying and selling are deemed essential, so inspectors, bankers, appraisers and termite exterminators are all coming to work. I have heard that some appraisers are doing ‘drive-by’ appraisals, however the appraiser we had wore a mask and gloves and came into the home. This part of the process remains unchanged.
What has changed is how people are seeing homes. Since we cannot have open houses, buyers are viewing more homes through technology like Matterport, Facetime and Zoom meeting presentations. If they like what they see, they will come and view the home in-person.
Another significant change is that according to LA City Ordinance, lock boxes are not allowed. That means that there must be an agent present to open the door on every showing appointment.
Will Covid-19 cause the real estate market to crash? Unlike the last crash in 2008, there is a considerable lack of quality and affordable homes for sale at this time. I suspect this will keep prices level along with historically low interest rates as we push through this.
At our office, Wish Sotheby’s Realty International, deals are closing, and there are multiple offer situations. Serious buyers continue to compete for good quality homes. This is very good news for sellers who are motivated.
Thinking of selling? My advice would be to get your home on the market now, because as soon as restrictions start to ease, there will be a glut of new listings hitting the market, which is more competition for sellers. Right now, inventory is extremely low…why not be one of few instead one of many?
Should buyers wait and see what happens? Well, while there will be more homes to choose from after restrictions lift, if I were a buyer, I definitely be looking now. The reason is this: the sellers who are selling now have a very good reason as to why they’re selling. Think about it…
for sellers, now is not the time to ‘test the waters’ just for the fun of it.
Also, there are fewer buyers to compete with, so I say, absolutely, still look for a home if you’re a buyer. Depending where you live, you may be able to negotiate a great deal too.
I’m eager to help you or anyone in your network buy or sell a home. Please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on real estate and Covid-19 click here.