COVID-19 Real Estate FAQ
What is the current status of the Wilmington market?
Fortunately, I mastermind with top agents across the country weekly − Los Angeles, Dallas, Nashville and Miami. They shut down 3 to 4 weeks ahead of us, so I was able to observe and adapt practices to prepare. Weeks 1-4 things slowed as people began to adapt to the new safety protocol. Week 5 and forward real estate was just like traffic on the streets of Wilmington − it was back. According to the MLS in April 2020 in New Hanover County 405 homes went under contract, that is compared to 558 homes in April 2019, down 27% year over year. May 1st to May 15th, this year had 276 homes go under contract and 2019 had 283, a 2% decline (weeks 5+, buyers are back). Many multiple offer situations, so there is a lack of inventory that kept that number negative.
How can I safely and effectively market my home today?
Before home showings hire an agent, like myself, that is spending money marketing your home appropriately to expose your home and not expose your health. Professional photography, detailed floor plan, 3D virtual tour, maximum marketing on major websites, you don’t want to hear they didn’t like it due to something they should have known from the right marketing. In home showings…be smart. If you are feeling any symptoms, please do not allow anyone into your home. If you are healthy, know that agents and buyers must acknowledge that they are as well before entering. Turn on lights, open blinds, open doors − you do the touching, so they don’t have to. You can limit showings and more to tailor to your needs.
I want to sell my home now − how do I?
We have sold real estate using virtual options for years in this second home market. Conference calls with the new twist of Zoom, DocuSign for remote digital signatures, sending data and texting pictures, all of these can be done remotely for an agent that does enough business to understand our market and home values. If you are comfortable with in-home meetings these are still happening with healthy parties as well.
I want the COVID deal of the century − where is it?
Rules are in place to look out for everyone’s best interests right now as they should be. Tenants cannot be evicted, and some financial institutions are relaxing restrictions on payments. Many safety measures are in place to protect the economic victims of this pandemic. Know that in addition to the protection a foreclosure can take 6-12 months, so we are probably looking at mid-2021 before they appear. Need a deal? Someone who just found out that they are going to be a grandparent and wants to be there to spoil their new grandchild, now that is a motivated seller!
Jeff Lesley with Century 21 Sweyer & Associates is the #1 Individual Agent across all brands in the Cape Fear Region. He has personally sold 48 homes from January 1st to May 15th, 2020 and is ranked #8 for the Century 21 Brand in the United States.