Coronavirus impacting national real estate market; Questions loom for how long

Updated: Mar. 20, 2020 at 1:58 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A new survey done by the National Association of Realtors shows home buyer interest has decreased because of the coronavirus outbreak. That percentage tripled from the week ago (March 12th) when it stood at 16%.

Kathleen Baylies, with Just For Buyers Realty, in Wilmington, says there are things buyers and seller can do to ensure their home is shown as safely as possible.

“I’m a real estate agent who makes a living by helping people buy their dream” says Baylies. “I may get some flak for saying this, but if you’re a buyer right now, I encourage you to think long and hard over the next few weeks.”

Social distancing has become a phrase that we’ve become accustomed to in the last few weeks. That can apply to buying and selling a home as well.

“Don’t expect handshakes, take a separate vehicle from your agent” says Baylies. “Maybe, if you’re a seller, you ask your agent about promoting virtual tours.”

Some other tips to stay as germ free as possible.

Provide hand sanitizer at the door, but ask agents showing your home to double check to make sure it’s still there when it’s time to leave.

Consider disposable shoe covers to leave at the front door.

Signs that ask agents to leave the lights on, when they leave, so the on/off switches remains germ free.

The National Association of Realtors is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in residential and commercial real estate. The association’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun believes with fewer listing in what’s already a housing shortage environment, home prices are likely to hold steady. Yun says, “the temporary softening of the market will likely be followed by a strong rebound once the economic ‘quarantine

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