The COVID-19 pandemic may have prompted some home sellers to put off their listings and wait for better times, when restrictions on people’s movement has been lifted. But real estate experts say that in fact, now is the best time to list your home.
Forbes.com reported that real estate agents are seeing unprecedented levels of traffic for the few listings they do have. That’s not really a surprise with housing inventory so low, and it means those who do try to sell now will get a lot more attention than they would if they tried to sell during ‘normal’ times.
During the first week of March for example, real estate market firm UrbanDigs said it saw a 279% increase the number of listings removed from its Manhattan market. In the second week of April, it saw just 52 new listings, while 157 were removed.
At the same time however, the average number of hits received by each listing still on its website rose dramatically. Meanwhile, another listings website, StreetEasy, said video tours are growing in popularity too. It reported that the number of listings with video tours—including links to video walkthroughs--doubled on its website in March as COVID-19 hit the nation in a bigger way.
One reason for the growth in traffic is that prospective buyers probably have more time on their hands to browse through what little home listings there are.
“I think we will see a pent-up demand from buyers who were poised to move before the pandemic, and still need to move ahead with their plans,” Barbara Fox, president of Fox Residential, told Forbes.com. “Many buyers are going to look at this as a good buying opportunity, and sellers should keep their properties prominently in front of them.”
Fox tells sellers not to be tempted to lower their price either.
“Many prices were reduced before this happened, and as activity resumes, there will be bargain hunters,” Fox said. “But as activity intensifies, as was happening prior to the pandemic, we will see prices firming up.”