The Seattle Real Estate Market – Just about everything in our lives have been turned around in some form or fashion thanks to COVID-19. Whether it’s the way we interact with friends, school, businesses, and even the real estate industry, there’s probably not one stitch of our lives that is not been affected in some way by the pandemic. So what is real estate doing these days? Are people still buying and selling? What about Seattle in general or the entire Puget Sound region?
A recent article by MSN money talked about how buying and selling homes in Seattle has changed since the start of the pandemic. I’d like to give a little bit of a brief overview and then my opinion.
Although we are just five months in, a lot has happened in those 5 to 6 months. However, one thing has not changed in that people still need to move. People are leaning more on technology than ever before and even though 90% of home buyers start their home buying search online, we’re doing everything online now, from virtual signings and tours to zero contact mortgages. People are relying on virtual tours and virtual open houses before deciding whether they want to risk looking at a home in person.
People are also looking for homes with home offices. A lot of people did not see a major drop in their ability to work but simply shifted their place of employment to a home office. Because of this, more and more homebuyers are looking for that type of space in a property. They don’t want to create a makeshift office and a dining room or take over a kid’s bedroom. They really need a dedicated, private room in the house where they can conduct business on a day-to-day basis.
Plus, life events are still happening. People are having babies, retiring, or relocating and a lot of us have decided not to put those plans on hold. Even though health and safety remain a top priority, people are still trying to live their lives. There’s been widespread adoption of digital-first transactions were most people are doing the bulk of their home search online, contacting real estate agents online, and doing as much as they can before meeting anyone in person or seeing a house in person.
Many of these virtual or online technology options include letting folks do a virtual walk-through of the home. Some of these walk-throughs are actually giving people measurements on room dimensions, the layout, and allowing you to imagine your own furniture in the home or room. Just about everything we’re doing these days is to avoid contact with as many people as possible.
However, people still want to touch and see a home in person, and while it’s different than it used to be, real estate agents are adopting anything possible including the use of masks and other safety protocols. Most of us still need to get that certain feeling from a home. Buying a home is an emotional task and a lot of people go with their gut when deciding to buy. When you’ve made the decision to buy a home, there’s nothing more rewarding than standing in the home, realizing this is where you want to be.
Basically, we’re not going backward. Virtual tours and online technology is really the way we’re all going to go eventually. Nothing beats face-to-face contact and being in the room, but we can definitely adopt these different technology protocols to keep everyone safe and keep the process as efficient as possible. The open floor plan concept is kind of a little obsolete right now as more people meet those rooms that are closed off from the rest of the house whether it’s just for privacy, work-related projects, or as a temporary escape from other people in the house.
Seattle real estate market
We saw on an enormous drop in March and April in the Seattle real estate market when everything shut down for a few weeks but by June, things were ramping up again and now the Seattle real estate market, specifically north and south of downtown, is booming. It’s not uncommon to see up to 2000 views on a hot real estate property these days. More people are looking online and people are looking for homes that can satisfy not only their current needs but the needs of the future for their entire family.
Median home prices for closed sales and King County rose over the past few months compared to the same time last year. Inventory has remained extremely tight and even though more homes were listed in July, inventory remains low throughout the area creating a competitive market.
For home sellers, many real estate agents are recommending that homeowners have a home inspection done prior to putting their home on the market. This gives remote buyers more confidence to analyze the property, especially if they can only see it virtually. Seattle real estate agents are confirming what a home looks like by touring it without the buyers, verifying that what they’re seeing online is the real deal.
The bottom line, it helps to have a local real estate agent whether you are buying or selling. You want to know that the home you’re interested in is exactly what’s for trade online. Sellers want to know that they can get their home sold with the least amount of foot traffic through the property.
For buying and selling in Snohomish County or King County, contact my office anytime. I specialize in Snohomish County real estate and Seattle real estate, commercial properties, and specific neighborhoods around the Puget Sound.
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