Sheltering in place could have an unexpected benefit to the housing market. “Now more than ever you realize what your house is like, some of the things are great and some of the things are not so great,” said Jeff Kottmeier, a market research adviser for John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “People are spending a lot more time in their houses and thinking, ‘Okay, if I can trade up for something newer, something bigger, something different, there’s that possibility.’ They are saying they want a new home and they start looking online.” Some buyers who have been frustrated by a lack of properties for sale are throwing caution aside in hopes of snagging a home while other buyers are sidelined.
“We still have the underlying problems we had before, which is not enough homes for people to buy and we’re not building enough homes,” said Bonnie Casper, a real estate agent in the Washington DC market. “Those haven’t gone away. But if the buyer pool has shrunk, that does give a buyer a bigger opportunity.” Real estate agents are turning to technology to replace the in-person experience. The number of 3-D home tours created on Zillow went up 326 percent in late March. Although many aspects of buying a home can be done online, certain parts of the process — inspection, appraisal, closing — typically are done in person. And that’s maddening for those involved.
Source: The Washington Post
Note: Many appraisals and closings are now taking place remotely.