Real Estate Agents Give Their Perspective on the Coronavirus Effect

By the Experts at Real Estate Express

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The coronavirus pandemic has generated a lot of uncertainty, especially with the real estate market. We interviewed four agents across the country to get a sense of how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting the real estate market in their area.
Is now a good time to buy/sell real estate?
Some agents say "yes":
"It's a great time to buy and sell in Charlottesville right now. It's still a seller's market and inventory is low so the market is strong. But equally for buyers, interest rates are low, and I think they might only get higher, so now is the time to buy." – Ashley Jurney

"The mortgage situation with the government coming in and doing massive stimulus and the Federal Reserve doing things, interest rates have been very low and they may be at all-time lows right now, so the affordability of properties is as affordable as it's ever been." – John Thomas
Some say "maybe not":
"If you're not in a stable position to be able to afford the payments now, or you're looking to sell in, say, the next two years, then maybe right now is not the best time. But if you're looking at keeping the property for a decade or that's going to be the home that you live in, then I wouldn't necessarily say that it's a wrong time to make a purchase. Time has shown us historically that home prices will always go up again and that real estate is a fairly safe investment over time." – Monica Rivera
Technology is more important than ever.
Agents agree that, yes, technology is extremely important in the real estate business right now.
"I have seen more agents that have been doing this for a while, that have not been digging into the social media world, and they're doing virtual tours and stuff like that. They're starting to do that because they're just going to have to right now. So, I think it helped to propel the fact that if you're not doing media, you're not doing virtual tours, you're not on social media. It opens everybody's eyes and makes them realize that I'd better start doing this." – Ben Jimmerson
"A lot of agents are getting more creative using stuff like FaceTime and doing video walk-throughs and so forth." – John Thomas
"I would say incorporating a ton of video is going to be huge right now! And I don't just mean property video. I mean video conference calls to have meetings with clients or videos where you're educating people about what is going on in the industry. Studies have shown that when you see somebody on video, it activates a lot of the same chemicals in the brain as if you're seeing that person face to face. And we know that people tend to work with people they know, like and trust… so video is a very easy way to make people feel like they know you. And when you give them information that's of value to them, that helps." – Monica Rivera
Now is a good time to get into real estate.
Real estate agents agree that now is a great time to get into the business—especially for those who are very driven to thrive despite challenges.
"I think any time is a good time to dip into real estate. It doesn't matter where the market is. And honestly, if the market is dipping, it's an even better time to get in to learn how to survive in a market like this, because that way, when they come out on the other side, they're definitely going to be able to survive in a thriving economy." – Ben Jimmerson
"Now is a GREAT time to get into the business, for the right person. What I mean by that is for the person that's going to adopt the technology 100 percent… for the person that is going to go and build a database and really focus on growing their skill set. Agents that get into the business right now, well, they don't have any of our bad habits. And this market, this is where most mega agents are made... When they've gone through a downturn [building their database] and then go into an upturn." – Monica Rivera
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