Austin Real Estate During Coronavirus

I'm not qualified to talk about Conoravirus, but I am qualified to talk about real estate. Here are my thoughts on how real estate in Central Texas is faring as we get deeper into this situation.  If you'd prefer to read about my thoughts, the transcript can be found below the video.

Greetings.  I'm Craig Smyser with 1835 Realty.  Now I'm not qualified to talk about the Corona virus, but I am qualified to talk about real estate so I just wanted to share with you my thoughts on how the real estate market is doing as we get deeper into the Coronavirus situation here in the Austin area. Overall, things are going well. We still have sellers willing to sell and buyers wanting to buy. In fact, I went back over the last four weeks to look at the number of homes that came new to the market every day and you know what?  Over the last seven days, the last 10 days, we are not seeing these numbers drop off.  The supply continues to just refresh itself with more sellers wanting to sell, but are they being purchased? Absolutely. In fact, just this past weekend, I had some buyers who made an offer on a house that was new to the market.  It turned out to be multiple offers, but it was a strong and compelling offer and we were able to come away with the contract and we're seeing that happen all across Central Texas. That is a good thing because real estate is a big economic driver and I'll talk about that a little bit later, but just the overall the low interest rates and the demand from buyers has been more powerful than the Corona virus impact itself, and so that is definitely a good thing. Now, of course, we're taking common sense measures.  I'm not holding any open houses. We don't want big congregations of people getting together.  When I'm working with buyers usually they come with me in my car. Now we're going separately to keep that distance and we're walking through houses keeping our distance there.  In fact, I bring along latex gloves, a new pair for each house that way as we touch door knobs, open and close closet doors, maybe touch a kitchen counter, things like that we're doing it as safely as possible.  From a working with sellers standpoint, usually we have a nice face to face at the beginning.  Right now we can do that by Zoom - we can do it by video conferencing and get a lot of the same things accomplished.  Of course, I will eventually see the house before it hits the market, but we'll try to have as little person to person contact as possible during the transaction. Now, if you're 85 years old, you probably don't want to be putting your house on the market right now, unless you've already moved out and it's a vacant home, then it's just fine. If you're someone who has underlying health concerns, again, not a good time to have people walking through your house unless it's vacant. So just common sense is what we're seeing.  Now are we still getting properties closed? Absolutely. I have one scheduled for next week and everything is on schedule for that because what we're seeing is the lenders, while they're not at their offices, they're working from home and still able to get things done.  Appraisers can still appraise, inspectors can still inspect, and the title companies have made adjustments as well. We still do mostly in-person closings, o no more bringing kids.  Only the people who are signing and their agents are allowed in the rooms. We're not sharing pens.  Again common sense from that perspective.  So I mentioned earlier the economic impact and that's one of the things to remember.  While much of the area is having to close down, restaurants and bars with the exception of takeout, and movie theaters closed, and a lot of the malls are starting to close. As all of that happens, we want to keep as much of the economy moving forward as possible and real estate helps to do that. In fact, nationally, 17 percent of the GDP is related to real estate. Now, of course, that's not all residential real estate, but that is a big driver. When you think about who's involved, obviously, we're accomplishing the goals of the buyer and seller and what they want done.  But from a driver of the economy standpoint, who gets paid in all of this?  Well, of course, agents get paid, and lenders get paid, title companies get paid, photographers, videographers, inspectors, appraisers, handymen, landscapers, window washers, and carpet cleaners.  All of those things that we see kind of from start to finish are getting done and helping to pump money into the economy at a time that it's really needed. So that's what's going on – again, still very strong. As long as we don't get into a quarantine lockdown situation like San Francisco, we should be able to continue with real estate because, fortunately, it has a very low person to person impact.  If you've got any comments or questions, feel free to leave any comments or questions below, email me at [email protected], or call me at 512-650-7300. When you're ready to buy or sell a home, I'm ready to help even during the current situation. Stay healthy, my friends!

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