COVID 19 - NC STaay at and Real Estate Market in Charlotte
Effective Monday at 5:00 the state began to operate under a Stay at Home order from Governor Roy Cooper's office. Only "essential services" are allowed to operate. The order will be enforced by both state and local law enforcement officers.
The order identifies essential businesses as:
· Businesses that meet social distancing requirements
· Businesses operating in CISA identified sectors
· Healthcare and public health operations
· Human services operations
· Essential infrastructure operations
· Essential government operations
· Stores that sell groceries and medicine
· Food, beverage production and agriculture
· Organizations that provide charitable and social services
· Religious entities
· Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
· Financial and insurance institutions
· Home improvement, hardware and supplies
· Critical trades
· Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
· Educational institutions
· Laundry services
· Restaurants for consumption off-premises
· Supplies for COVID-19 essential businesses and operations
· Home-based care and services
· Residential facilities and shelters
· Professional services
· Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
· Defense and military contractors
· Hotels and motels
· Funeral services
· Additional COVID-19 essential retail business
Real estate did not make the list except if it relates to closing a home that is under contract. We are unable to show homes at this time or hold open houses. So what does that mean for buyers and sellers? Will buyers buy homes virtually?
My guess is people will not purchase a home without seeing it in person unless it is investor who knows the market and perceives the home is a good value. I do believe buyers will be spending lots of time looking at homes virtually. I have seen a big increase in viewers on my website looking at homes. As a buyer, it is a great time to learn the market. Study the homes and home prices in the neighborhoods that meet your criteria.
Even more importantly, find the lender you want to use and get pre-approved. This is not just a quick call and a credit check (like a pre-qualification). I mean start the loan application and give the lender the appropriate documents so that they can be processed in underwriting. Why do all this before the house? Because when the market opens you will be an even BETTER buyer. If my seller receives multiple offers, the buyer that is already preapproved is always going to be seen as less risk than a buyer that has only been pre-qualified.
Sellers use this time to get your house ready for the market. While you are not getting the “virtual shoppers” you are not accumulating days on market and you will have the advantage of seeing what the market will be like once buyers are buying again. And, you will be able to price and react accordingly. You will also have the added benefit that buyers who contract on your home after the COVID-19 Shelter in Place will know if their industry and purchasing power has been impacted.
While we are unable to conduct real estate as usual in person, we are working with buyers helping them be smarter and more attractive buyers and working with sellers getting homes ready and adapting to the market. Once the Shelter in Place is lifted, buyers WILL want to buy houses and sellers we need your houses! Remember Charlotte was already experiencing an all-time low inventory in housing. Interest rates have remained low during this so it remains a good time to buy. So while it might not be business as usual, there will be real estate business going on. Let me know if I can assist you virtually until we are able to meet in person.