Advice for Buying or Selling a Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic
These are uncertain times, so we completely understand if you’re feeling a little apprehensive about buying or selling a home in Pittsburgh right now, too. There have been a lot of changes, restrictions, and regulations put in place over the last few months, but the good news is that the Pittsburgh market has stayed strong, prices have held steady, and we’re NOT expected to see a housing market crash anything like that of 2008. In fact, for both buyers and sellers, we recommend continuing ahead with your real estate plans.
Here’s some strategic advice for our buyers and sellers.
Economic volatility might not seem like an ideal environment for making a sizable investment, but actually, it could work in your favor. In April 2020, mortgage interest rates reached an all-time historic low of just 3.23%. They’ve remained low throughout the duration of the pandemic, and are expected to continue forward near rock-bottom lows at least for a few months to come. Buying with a low interest rate is ideal for buyers—it could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the duration of your loan.
Buying at this time could also result in reduced competition. Many buyers have opted to put a pin in their homebuying dreams, leaving more room, and time, for you to look around and make a move.
Sellers have two major factors working in their favor: increasing buyer demand and decreased home inventory. Low interest rates coupled with statewide reopenings have brought many buyers out of hiding and back into the market. Inventory, however, has been low since before the start of the health crisis, and nationwide shutdowns—including restrictions on showings in Pennsylvania—caused many sellers to reconsider listing. The result is a very low inventory situation highly favorable to sellers. Demand is greater than supply, so it’s definitely a sellers market.
Health-Related Precautions for Buyers & Sellers
Your health comes first. Should any of our team feel sick or experience COVID-like symptoms, we will inform you immediately and reschedule any in-person meeting or showings. Here are some other ways our team is working to reduce the spread of disease, as well as some tips for you to stay safe.
If you’re feeling sick, or you’re uncomfortable with in-person meetings or showings, please let us know so we can make accommodations. We’re happy to arrange virtual showings or meetings via video chat.
When touring homes in person, we suggest wearing gloves and trying to limit the number of things you touch within the home. You also want to avoid touching your face or hair, and remember to wear your mask!
While real estate has traditionally been a very hands-on experience, we’re constantly finding new ways to adapt to our unique conditions. If you feel in any way uncomfortable about meeting in person, we’re more than happy to schedule a virtual appointment to discuss your goals and expectations, as well as how we can accommodate your needs.
Should you feel comfortable permitting buyers into your home for in-person showings, we recommend taking a little extra time to disinfect door knobs, drawer pulls, railings, and other surfaces. You may also want to leave hand sanitizer and paper towels by your entry, and definitely wipe down after the buyer has left.
We also like the idea of noting specifically in your home’s listings that you as the seller are making extra effort to keep surfaces clean and provide disinfecting precautions.
*Please note: we are not healthcare or medical professionals. The above are recommendations and precautions we have been taking to help slow the spread of disease, but they are in no way preventative or foolproof. Please use caution and only do as much as you feel comfortable doing.
Thank you for your business and entrusting The Jim Dolanch Team to serve you.
Thinking of Buying or Selling in Pittsburgh?
The Jim Dolanch Team is here for you! If you're thinking of buying or selling in Pittsburgh, PA, we'd love to put our experience, expertise, and local knowledge to work for you. We have virtual resources for both buyers and sellers, and we're happy to arrange both in-person and virtual meetings.