One of the best things Realtors can do is provide information
There are lots of things to worry about – staying healthy is at the top of the list. But at the moment, more attention is becoming focused on the second part of the coronavirus crisis. Part 1 was the initial outbreak and the efforts to save lives and stop the spread. Part 2 is what happens next, as we emerge from Shelter in Place (SiP), reboot the economy and try to find some semblance of normal again.
Even though real estate is an essential service, Realtors aren’t really essential when it comes to the immediate health / safety of the community. Not like first responders, healthcare workers or emergency personnel. Not even like grocery clerks, postal employees or farm workers. The time for real estate agents to be essential is coming up during Part 2. That’s when they can act as trusted fiduciaries and advisors for clients trying to figure out what the future looks like.
There are lots of questions and no real answers at the moment but one of the best things Realtors can do is provide information – good information about the market. Not sales-hype. Not wild-guesses. Not overly-exuberant spin or overly-pessimistic gloom. Just balanced and thoughtful perspective that informs their clients’ decision-making. Here are some of those positive things:
There have been a surprising number of real estate sales during Shelter in Place. Actual sales are down by about 40%, but that’s a considerable accomplishment given the limitations of SiP.
Many Sellers held their listings off the market during SiP and the resulting, extreme low inventory has held prices steady. The median price for single family residences in April was $949,000. Expect continued low inventory over the next few months.
Our market’s strength depends on the health/wealth of Silicon Valley. High tech has remained relatively unscathed by the COVID crisis, NASDAQ is over 9000 and the big five tech firms haven’t had significant lay-offs. Historically the Bay Area/Silicon Valley has always been one of the first markets to recover from recessions.
Prior to the pandemic, the market was strong. The Bay Area was enjoying record employment, low interest rates, renewed appreciation and a burgeoning stock market. This recession will have been caused by an outside event, not from an internal economic problem.
Unlike the Great Recession, the majority of people who have purchased homes over the last decade have had high credit scores, carefully underwritten loans and large cash downpayments. The market is well-insulated from the foreclosures and distress sell-offs it experienced between 2008-2011.
Have questions about the market going forward? Contact us.