Seemingly overnight, most industries are finding themselves at the mercy of the coronavirus pandemic — real estate included. The U.S. government has declared the residential real estate sector a crucial public service in the midst of social distancing, but how do current buyer and seller sentiments compare to pre-pandemic aspirations?
Homes.com surveyed 1,000 people from across the country to find out.
Almost Half of Pre-Pandemic Buyers Still Want to Move Forward
Even with the economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, our survey found that over 48% of those who planned to buy prior to the pandemic still want to move forward with those plans. While shelter-in-place orders across the country hinder events like open houses and home tours, most of the real estate industry has pivoted into operating predominantly online to help support these consumers.
There are More People Searching Online for Homes than Not
Though the pandemic continues to shake markets, almost 75% of market respondents said they’re still continuing their online home searches, compared to under 24% who said they’re putting the search on hold until things are back to normal.
Buyers May Need Education About Virtual Tours
Even with the recent spike in access to virtual tours, only about 34% still want to tour homes during this time. This is compared to over 37% who said they’ll wait until the pandemic is over to tour homes. This may represent a lack of confidence and understanding in how virtual tours work, as they have only just become mainstream. Using sites like Homes.com, can help make the home search process easier with integration of video tours.
Committed Buyers Unsure of Next Steps or Other Options
Of those planning to purchase a home pre-pandemic, almost 29% indicate they don’t know what their current options are to navigate the purchase process. A similar number expressed they have homes they’re interested in, but are currently unable to tour them. Twenty percent said key parts of the homebuying process, like inspections and mortgage applications, have stalled, while just over 17% said they can’t find homes they’re interested in because of the lack of inventory.
Many Sellers are Staying in the Market
Despite concerns over market instability and how long the pandemic will last, 45% of those who planned to sell their home during this time are still moving forward as planned, either adjusting as necessary or exploring what other options they have.
Sellers Need Guidance
As much as buyers are struggling to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems sellers are even more burdened. Almost a third of sellers are now unsure of how to move forward with their plans to sell, while over 24% say they’re suffering from a lack of buyer traffic. If this sounds like you, there are some helpful alternatives to continue with the selling process.