Sellers are affected very differently depending on their sub-market. Sellers in entry-level price points and sellers close to the city center have a much better experience than those in upper-level price points or those in markets heavy with relocation buyers. Vacant properties are strategically much easier to market & show than occupied properties. Since there are so many variables, we do recommend speaking with an agent as soon as you’re comfortable doing so.
Have Home Values Gone Down?
Values have not declined and it’s not clear if they will decline. In general, real estate prices are a slow moving ship and do not see the volatility that you see in the stock market. The Austin market is fortunate in that values did not decline in 2 of the last 3 recessions, and they only declined 3.6% during the 2008 financial crisis. That said, it does feel as though we’ve quickly shifted to a buyer’s market.
Are Buyers Still Buying?
There are active buyers in the market. In general, there are more buyers active in entry level markets. The luxury, exurb/suburb, & relocation-dependent markets have the fewest number of buyers. We do still see multiple offers on properties (likely due to reduced inventory), but we see fewer and we don’t list properties with the expectation of a quick sale or one with multiple offers. That said, it is absolutely worthwhile to list your property now if you have a compelling reason to sell. It’s important to list with the expectation that the market is moving more slowly than it did pre-crisis.
How Are Showings Scheduled?
We recommend scheduling showings based on occupancy. If you’re selling a vacant property, then we simply allow agents to go at their convenience, and we rely on agents to use best practices to protect themselves & their clients. If you’re still living in your property, then we recommend showing by appointment only, and only on specific days/times so that you can disinfect the property upon or prior to your return.
Are Closings Delayed?
Closings have not been significantly delayed. Title companies & lenders have done an excellent job adapting to the crisis. You will not have a problem scheduling an inspection or getting an appraisal on time. If there is a legitimate delay due to COVID, we do recommend that sellers remain flexible & accommodating in order to get the property closed. In general, any delays are relatively short.
Past recessions affected the Austin real estate market in relatively similar ways. Sub-markets were affected differently. We do have data at the sub-market level. If you would like to discuss your specific property & sub-market, we would love to help you. We are happy to connect over the phone, video, or safely in person.