Hi! Sherri Echols here from RE/MAX Bryan – College Station. I’m at my desk here at home and I want to provide a little reassurance.Up until a couple of weeks ago, our real estate market was very solid and most of our listings were selling in just a few days, for top dollar and often for over asking price. The other day in our Bryan College Station area residents were ordered to shelter in place. What does this mean for homeowners, buyers and sellers? I want to share with you why this is different than economic downturns in the past, why people still need to move, and how we are still marketing and selling homes. First, a few things to remember:
This is not like 2008. We don’t have issues with sub-prime lending like we did over a decade ago. Most homes in the United States have plenty of equity – most homeowners are not underwater with their mortgages. Until the last few weeks unemployment was at an all-time low. Many buyers have salary jobs and are still getting paid, so their ability to get a mortgage has not changed.Interest rates are still at historic low levels. It’s also interesting to note that when the 9 11 and dot.com crashes hit in 2000 and 2002 the S&P dropped by 45%. Home prices, on the other hand, appreciated nicely at the same time. That stock market correction did not decrease home values.And in 3 of the last 5 economic downturns, housing prices actually increased – between 1.9% and 4.8%.
Now I want to tell you why there is demand for buying and selling houses:
PEOPLE STILL NEED TO MOVE! We have some expats coming back from other countries, now needing a home a little sooner than they expected.We have sellers who are being transferred out of state or have new jobs awaiting them. Many buyers have salary jobs and are still getting paid, and their ability to get a mortgage has not changed. This shelter in place time is a perfect time to prepare to buy or sell.
If you’re a seller, this is a great time for us to run detailed comps for your home and get your marketing plans ready. More people than ever will have time on their hands to took at listings online, fall in love with your home listing and make plans for purchasing.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling – let’s get ready now! When the floodgates open in a few weeks, there could very well be competition for homes! Let’s get all of the paperwork done now so you can take advantage of the renewed demand and get top dollar for your home!
If you’re a buyer, be ready with your list of homes to see. Use this time to get pre-approved. We will request virtual showings now so you can narrow down your list of the best homes. Then can then be one of the first to see inside once showings are available again!
The good news is that we are still selling houses – using technology! We can’t meet in person, but that’s okay.
The National Association of Realtors states that over 50% of people first saw their home online! We can still help people find homes online.
Redfin states that over 35% of buyers make an offer on a home sight-unseen – the number is even higher for millennials! So this tells us buyers do not have to go through a home personally to make an offer!
We have the technology for buyers to tour seller’s homes via video conferencing – where the agents, buyers and sellers are all on video together, and the sellers give a live tour to the potential buyers. Buyers can ask questions, ask to see certain parts of a house and fall in love with a home.
I have awesome photo and video editors at the ready! If you want to list your home now, we still can! Sellers take the photos and video, I send those videos and photos to our amazing editors and we can use those in all of our marketing. Why not give it a try – there is nothing to lose by putting your home on the market now. It costs you nothing.
YOU KNOW PEOPLE ARE SPENDING MORE TIME ON FACEBOOK AND SOCIAL MEDIA THESE DAYS!
Fewer than 3% of real estate nationwide agents know how to strategically target and retarget potential buyers on social media using the same digital marketing strategies as the Fortune 500. The good news is that I’m one of those top agents, and I’m an expert in digital marketing.
I typically have over 25K views on our video home tours on Facebook & Instagram just in the first week of a listing. That’s how we get homes sold quickly and for top dollar.
During this time, don’t waste energy worrying. Take care of your loved ones and remember to reach out to family and friends. Their well-being and yours is most important thing. Let’s stay connected. I don’t want you to worry if you were planning to buy or sell a home this year. The market is going to come back. It always does. I am here to help you. Drop any questions you may have below, and I’ll respond to them. As always, feel free to message, call, text or email me.
This is Sherri Echols, a helping hand for a happy home.