Buying and Selling Homes in Uncertain Times

Posted on Mar 13, 2020


Dear Clients and Friends of Houwzer:

The Coronavirus and public market volatility have created an unprecedented level of uncertainty. As many organizations have already communicated, we encourage you to follow the best practices of thoughtful social distancing to flatten the curve and prioritize the safety of you and your loved ones. All that said, life doesn’t have to come to a complete stop. Many clients have shared with us the importance of continuing the process of buying, selling or both because there are other major life events that must continue on.

Right now, we’re day to day and week to week. You’ll never hear the words “indefinite” from us. Not only is that not practical, but it’s only exasperated the uncertainty creating fear. Rather than comment with specific guidance on the Coronavirus or the public market volatility, we’d like to communicate our thoughts on the current real estate market and the options we offer to help mitigate risks when selling your home.

To date, we have seen little impact to our business in our current markets, but we are tracking every data point closely, as well as tracking its effect on other cities. Our goal is to be as proactive as possible to meet your needs in the coming weeks. Houwzer has worked hard to bring trust and transparency to the real estate industry. We hope and expect that these options will alleviate concerns, rather than feeding the hysteria.  Here are some of the optional alternatives that are available to you:

  • Remote listing consultations: While there are advantages to meeting your agent for the initial consultation in person, it can also be done through your mobile device or computer. Schedule a video call with your agent, give them the home tour virtually, and your agent will review their presentation with you digitally.
  • Digital paperwork: All of our paperwork throughout the entire process can be accessed and signed through our online platform – quick, easy, secure, and environmentally friendly.
  • Optional open houses: You can request private showings only, limiting foot traffic to serious buyers. This is the part of the process that makes people the most nervous about selling during this outbreak. While open houses help generate awareness for your listing, our marketing drives plenty of private showings to sell your home.
  • Cleaning reimbursement: We are offering up to a $250 reimbursement for cleanings after days of traffic from private showings. You’ll be reimbursed at closing.
  • Deed packages for closing: We can provide a deed package for you to complete in advance, so there’s no need to physically attend the closing.

In addition to these new service options, we are closely monitoring what the market is doing. In our current markets, and many places around the country, homes are still selling quickly for top prices. This is the result of months of persistently low inventory and pent up demand. Even now, when the spring market is primed to ramp up, the number of homes listed on the market remains very low. At the same time, there’s an abundance of buyers eager to purchase a home, especially with these historically low interest rates. They are fighting over what’s out there, entering bidding wars, and honestly, probably getting a little tired of the hunt. There is no telling how long this seller’s market will last, but right now, the market is still rewarding sellers who enter it with more attention and higher offers.

Some home sellers are making changes to their timeline. We’ve seen clients move up their listing date to get it on the market sooner, and a few, who have concerns over what they are seeing on the news, have pushed their listing date to later this year. Others can’t or don’t want to change their timeline. Regardless of the timeline you choose, we understand the stresses of inviting the world into your home while trying to sell it.

Fortunately, technology continues to change the way homes are bought and sold. The changes that make it possible for us to sell your home and save you thousands in commissions also make it much easier to sell your home without putting anyone at risk. Our technology and home selling process is already set up in a way that you can sell your home and get a personal, full-service experience without face-to-face interactions or inviting large groups of people into your home. While we encourage face-to-face relationship building given the significance of the transaction in normal conditions, technology can be a great enabler to overcome even our current environment. Our modern approach also allows us to swiftly make adjustments that can help you avoid any unnecessary contact with others in these unique times.

We strongly believe that this is a relationship business where a human counselor and advisor is valuable to home buyers and sellers during the largest financial decision of their lives, particularly in times when emotions are running high. Regardless of what happens in the coming months, you can rest assured knowing that whenever you decide to buy or sell, our salaried agents will never pressure you into a deal or a timeframe that isn’t right for you. Remember, our agents receive a salary and health insurance regardless of what market conditions exist. We are committed more than ever to deliver the exceptional service you expect from us.

If there are any other accommodations you'd like to see for us to help you accomplish your real estate goals this year, please do not hesitate to let us know. Your success and safety is our top priority.

-Mike Maher, Houwzer CEO


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