The latest Economic Pulse Flash Survey from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), conducted May 3-4, shows that sellers are preparing to get their homes on the market following the end of their state’s stay-at-home orders. According to NAR, 77 percent of potential sellers are getting ready to sell, with half already completing DIY home improvement projects in hopes of improving their home’s value.
In addition, members say that 29 percent of sellers are starting online searches for a new home now, 23 percent are working with a lender to get pre-approved and 22 percent are getting their paperwork ready for the selling and buying process.
Buyer interest has also improved from last week, which saw an 85 percent decline compared to this week’s 73 percent. In addition, buyers are entering the market with a pre-coronavirus mentality—41 percent of members say consumers are not expecting lower home prices due to the pandemic, and 94 percent of members said their clients have not changed their search criteria.
“After a pause, home sellers are gearing up to list their properties with the reopening of the economy,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.”
The markets, however, are still in flux as many states have not yet removed their stay-at-home orders. For 14 percent of members, getting deals done is near impossible, according to the report, as their government mandated stay-at-home orders are not allowing private showings.
Precautions are still being taken, as well. According to 68 percent of members, buyers are using hand sanitizer, washing their hands, and wearing gloves, shoe covers and masks upon entering a home. Fifty-three percent of members say home inspectors are doing the same, and 51 percent say appraisers should be doing this as well.
While timetables are improving (50 percent say they are not experiencing closing delays), there are still some roadblocks. Members say there are delays in financing (30 percent), appraisals (21 percent) and home inspection (14 percent). For 25 percent of members, there are also challenges due to buyers no longer qualifying for a loan due to a job loss.