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Covid-19 has changed the real estate market across the United States. With moratoriums on foreclosures, mortgage forbearances, and historically low-interest rates, solid real estate advice is needed. Four real estate brokers and members of the Default Industry Leaders share insight into the current market in their respective areas.
Don’t wait to buy in Southern California
Alyson Silverman, Broker Associate at Keller Williams Calabasas in California says now is the time to buy or sell. “For those buyers waiting for prices to drop due to Covid-19, I am sorry to disappoint you,” said Alyson Silverman.
“You would think potentially some homeowners are losing their jobs and cannot pay their mortgage. Then it would seem that they would get behind in their mortgage without a job and that the home would go back to the bank and be sold as a foreclosure for a discounted price… WRONG.”
Since the pandemic, banks have been working with homeowners giving forbearances. “With evictions and foreclosures on hold and forbearances in place, there may be a wave of foreclosures, but it will not be soon,” she said.
“Additionally, foreclosures are not sold at a discount. The bank does at least one appraisal, relies on the appraiser and the Realtor for market conditions, and expects market value.”
Silverman said the current market conditions in Southern California (Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Maria counties) have very low inventory and high buyer demand. She also illustrated, “Let’s say you are paying at least $2,500 for your rent. $2,500 times 24 months, is $60,000 of your landlord’s equity instead of your own mortgage in 2 years, this does not count the tax advantages you can maximize or the benefit of controlling your own future. With historic rates dropping below 3%, and low inventory prompting multiple offers, now is the time to buy or sell!
It is critical you find a knowledgeable, experienced agent to guide you through one of the most important transactions in your life.”
Education is key to Real Estate Buys in Southwest Florida
Peacock Premier Properties Broker/Owner Kristen Conti in Englewood, Florida, just opened a new office in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic in Southwest Florida.
“As we navigate this COVID-19 pandemic in real estate, I feel the most important thing you can do is to educate yourself as much as possible,” said Kristen Conti. “I’m not talking about just reading articles on the Internet, but rather finding a true real estate professional with long-term success that has come through many different market disruptions and found a way to thrive.”
Conti said that the current market is very favorable for first-time home buyers and a great time to buy investment properties.
“Begin with the end in mind. Know your ultimate goals and share them with trusted advisors,” advised Conti.
“Expect the best, but also prepare for the worst. Cash reserves are very important in uncertain times. Have an emergency fund or an easy way to access money for the unforeseen repairs or expenses that come with property ownership,” she said.
“The opportunities I see as the best right now are for those with long-term goals in mind. We are not in a flipper market, but we are at a time of historically low-interest rates, which can be very favorable to the first-time homebuyer.”
When the current moratoriums on tenant evictions ends, Conti said, “There will be great opportunities to pick up investment properties and plenty of tenants who need places to live. My best advice is to seek good counsel from professionals.”
“Real Estate is not a do-it-yourself project…it’s a team sport!” Conti said.
Preparation is Key to Success in Kentucky Real Estate Market
Kimberly Brunson, Principal Broker at Hunter Real Estate in Lexington, Kentucky, said preparation is key to being successful in today’s real estate market.
“Current inventory of homes is extremely low, as a buyer you must be prepared with lender pre-approval in hand, title company picked out and a flexible schedule to catch properties as soon as they become available,” Brunson said.
“In the event of multiple offers, listen to your agent and their recommendations on value, since the lack of inventory is causing prices to increase.”
Brunson is pragmatic. “Be realistic, if your job or income may be in jeopardy due to restrictions/changes related to Covid-19, now may not be the best time to invest,” she said. “If your offer will be contingent on selling your current home, get that house on the market before shopping for a new home. Any contingency makes your offer weaker.”
Brunson said having a good relationship with your real estate agent is vital. “Build a relationship with a real estate agent you trust. Communicate weekly with your agent and keep them updated, if any of your real estate needs change. In this competitive market, it is more important than ever before to have a strong relationship with your agent.”
Doing business during a pandemic requires some additional preparation and planning beyond the paperwork. “ Be prepared to use Personal Protective Equipment (mask, gloves, sanitizer) correctly at each showing appointment.l” Brunson said.
Finding a good Real Estate Professional is Paramount
Lana Detro, Principal Broker at AlaCarte Realty in Indianapolis, Indiana, said that while location is key, working with a Realtor® is paramount to your success.
“Whether you are a first time home buyer, a new investor, or a seasoned pro, many people think the best advice when buying real estate is Location, Location, Location!” Lana Detro said.
“Although location should be a consideration for resale, the most important thing to consider before embarking on your real estate journey is finding a Realtor® who understands your goals, your vision, and your endgame.”
Detro explained, “No matter where you are in your real estate experience, your agent is your most valuable asset, so choose wisely. Like anything in life, you find some who are better at what they do than others. Most agents are good. Some, however, are exceptional,” she said.
“The difference between a good agent and an exceptional one lies in the subtleties of their experience and the personal traits of the individual. Anyone can look up facts and figures on the internet. The exceptional Realtor offers you the experience you cannot find in a book or online.”
Detro outlined the traits she finds paramount in a good Realtor.
“You want a professional who is savvy in negotiation, has an eye for detail, and who has your best interest at heart. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, share your dream, and ask for references,” she said.
“Like a safari guide, you should be able to count on your Realtor to navigate the waters, make sure you understand the pitfalls and the rewards of home buying, be attentive, approachable, knowledgeable, and able to bring you safely and happily to your new home. Your Realtor is the difference between a good trip and an extraordinary adventure.”
Tamara "Ask Tami" Patzer
Tamara "Ask Tami" Patzer is a Best Selling Author, host of Women Innovators Radio, Business Innovators Radio, and Executive Producer of the Daily Success® Media Network. She is an Independent Publisher of the Best-Selling Women Innovators: Leaders, Makers, and Givers - Women Who Make A Daily Difference Book Series. Tamara is also a contributor to Small Business Trendsetters, Business Innovators Magazine, Thrive Global and Medium covering Influencers, Innovators, and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance, and Personal Development. She is the creator of Beyond the Best Seller Marketing Systems for authors.