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Loaded Question: How's the market?

With Covid still looming over us, life is still in an odd holding pattern.  That is, for everything except real estate.

The real estate market is crazy right now.  Everywhere I go, I get the loaded question asking how the market is.  While the simple answers of "great!" and "on fire!" are popping out of every real estate agent's mouth as quickly as possible, there's a bit more to the market than a blaze of awesomeness.  Let's go a little more in depth.

We are now a week into September. Usually by now we would have seen a couple of lulls in the market where the buying frenzy would slow a bit and sellers could catch their breath.  Selling inventory would pick up a bit and then we'd start the next wave of buyers coming out and purchasing more again. So far, from what I've seen, we've yet to hit that lull. Spring market lasted well into summer and now the summer market doesn't show signs of stopping... no matter how many pumpkin treats we've eaten already.  Interest rates went even lower, which means many are refinancing their homes as well.  This is a great time for a buyer with those rates going down- I just had a buyer lock in a 2.75 interest rate on their first home purchase ever.  They are psyched. Side note: Buyers, if you are looking to buy right now make sure your agent knows how to negotiate. You'll see why coming up.

While all of those things are amazing for the buyers, the real heroes of the current market are the sellers.  This is definitely still a seller's market.  No matter how much we say it, it still rings true: We need sellers.  We need new listings.  These homes on the market, especially those that would qualify for USDA and FHA loans, are not lasting long before going under contract. Most of the time there are multiple offers on one property after only a few days on the market.  This leads to great negotiations for the sellers, upping their offer prices above the listed price.  Just make sure you don't accept too high of an offer. We want your home to get through appraisal well, unless you have an appraisal contingency waiver stating the buyers will make up the difference of the loan amount with cash.  Here is a chart from the Bright MLS system showing how many days on market (DOM) residential homes in Southern Maryland are accumulating before going under contract.

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This chart shows all of 2020 so far. Southern Maryland has seen 70% of its homes go under contract with less than 45 days on market. This chart shows that, of those under 45 days on market, in most price ranges the homes are not lasting more than two weeks on the market before being taken by some lucky buyers.  In many circumstances, it takes so long to go off the market because the seller is still trying to choose which offer they would like to accept.  Sellers, this means your home will more than likely go very quickly.  Be ready for enough showings to make you rethink your decision- but know it will be worth it.  Buyers, this means you need to view homes and put an offer in quickly.  You also need to realize that you'll probably be up against other buyers for the same home.  The one you get is the one you were meant to have- don't be disheartened.  However, make sure you are putting in a competitive and well thought out offer. Both sellers and buyers need to make sure you hire an agent with pricing and negotiation experience.

In a nutshell, the market is great and, figuratively, on fire.  Now you have a little more insight as to what we see on our end of the transaction.  If you're looking to sell or buy a home, or just need real estate advice, I'm always here for you when you need me.  Let's get you home!


Home Showings During Covid-19: We are still here for you.

I hope this blog finds you healthy and happy. 

While the world has seemed to stop, real estate keeps moving onward with virtual showings, digital documentation, and settlements with safety always top of mind.  We are taking new listings in our brokerage every day and marketing those listings, and other listings, to our buyers.  Luckily, in Maryland real estate agents are still essential workers since people need homes.  And this brings us to today's topic... How do we do home showings during the Covid-19 pandemic so our clients can keep their home buying process moving, while still remaining safe and following the stay home guidelines? 

1. Real estate professionals are essential, yet buyers going to showings in person is not seen as essential for the time being.  While I will not be ticketed for going to homes and viewing them, the buyer may.  For this reason, and to keep more people at home safe, we are conducting virtual showings.  My current buyers are taking virtual tours with me through zoom, facebook video chat, skype, google hangouts meets, and other platforms. If you have a platform you are comfortable with, I will learn it to provide these video tours for you.

2. How is the showing done? I will walk you through the homes you wish to see during live video. Make sure you ask questions! Want to see that carpet closer or the bathroom faucets better? Let me know and we'll do it. It's important to use all you senses when viewing your potential home.  I'll be that for you- tell you how things look in person, how the home smells (no bad odors for you!), if the floors feel level and secure, and if I hear any noises that you say you'd find unappealing.  

3. Did you see a home you love? Fantastic! We can still write offers on homes through digital documents. It is nerve wracking to put an offer in on a home you haven't been to in person.  Being a military wife, I've done this several times and it really never gets easier.  Having a trusted real estate adviser can help ease the worries and take pressure from your shoulders.  We can put a Covid contingency into the offer asking for the ability for you to see the home before purchasing it fully, making sure the escrow deposit comes back to you if the home is not what you expected.  We have a special Covid 19 addendum now that helps us navigate the home buying and selling process should issues arise.

From there on, everything is mostly as usual and I can talk you through the offer writing process.  

As you can see, reaching your home purchasing goals is still feasible. While many other things in our lives are put on hold, make sure you reach out and we don't miss the home you've been waiting for.  We've got this- I've got you. Let's get you home.

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