According to Sarah Bohn, a licensed real estate salesperson for Gurney Becker & Bourne, when the pandemic began, the real estate industry came to a standstill. Buyers were still interested in seeing properties, but real estate agents initially weren’t able to bring buyers into peoples’ homes.
With Covid came adaptability, and Matthew Whitehead, senior vice president and general manager for Howard Hanna in Greater Buffalo area, said that many agents work remotely or virtually when showing properties. Real estate agents have many options in the virtual sphere, and can go in to the homes and create virtual property tours, and use drone photography.
“Shelter is a basic human need that doesn’t go away regardless of what seems to be happening in the world and for those that have the needs,” Whitehead said. “We are able to be strategic and creative to help them navigate their real estate goals.”
Bohn noticed a trend in April and May, and though inventory was down approximately 30% from 2019, people were still selling their properties. Inventory had already been steadily declining since 2015, but the fear of the virus coupled with the fear of being unable to sell escalated the inventory drop. Demand among buyers remained, and with first time home buyers, updated single homes were in the $140-200,000 range with over 15 offers, and sold for $20,000 over the asking price. In May, Bohn saw many examples where homes were receiving over 30 offers and selling for as much as $30-40,000 over asking price.
“[During Covid], there are multiple buyers and multiple bids, with everything selling for over the list price,” Bohn said. “Home values remain strong, and if [people are] thinking about selling, [they] have a chance of getting a higher price for [their] homes now than before the pandemic.”
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