The Austin Real Estate Market during COVID-19

Hey there! Ashley here!

I know you are probably tired of hearing all the different mass emails and “reassurances” that companies are now sending out about the Coronavirus…

And I am here to do the same, only this topic is pertaining to the Austin real estate market and current changes during COVID-19.

I’m here to tell you the market is still moving!

My team made an offer in early April 2020 – multiple offers over asking and we are moving forward. In fact, every offer I have written for a buyer has been in multiple offers this year (though that may change now with shelter in place) many of the homes will depend on where they are located and how well they are priced.

But, even though the market is still active, there have been some changes, of course.

What changes are happening in real estate with COVID-19 shelter-in-place?
While some buyers are preferring the virtual route meaning home tours by phone/video and not in person (AND believe it or not making offers unseen). The good news for those that do NOT want go that route, is that my team is still doing physical home showings. We both wear masks during showings and my team and I wear gloves and touch all the surfaces/turn on lights and open doors for the buyer.

Here’s a brief overview of home showings during COVID-19 for both parties:

BUYERS:

  • Must sign a Hold Harmless Agreement for in-person showings
  • Brinkman Team will send buyers a virtual tour (if available) and all documents and photos prior to an in-person showing.
  • Offers may still be written during this time – with or without an in-person showing.
  • Must also have a pre-approval ready to go.

SELLERS:

  • Must sign an agreement that they have not recently had flu-like symptoms or near anyone COVID positive.
  • Must sign a Hold Harmless Agreement if allowing in-person showings.
  • Brinkman Team is now arranging a virtual video walk-through when the photographer is present at home.
  • Virtual walk-through and information is now sent all prior to in-person showings to limit the number of people walking through the property.
  • Instructed to leave during all showings and leave the lights on and any doors open that a buyer would want to touch. This is to limit surface contact.
  • It is important to note that in-person showings are NOT required. But, they can be accomplished if it is something you want to do!

What is a virtual showing?
Well, we do a Zoom or FaceTime call that includes the buyer, buyer’s agent, seller and seller’s agent. This is the safest way for a home showing and gives the buyer a pretty good view of the property.

What about inspectors and appraisers? Both are considered essential:

  • Inspectors are considered essential and are taking extra precautions during COVID-19 during home inspections, they also have lockbox access, a buyer may meet with the inspector for home findings.
  • Appraisers are considered essential workers as well, and are now conducting in-home appraisals while sellers work from home in a non-evasive, safe manner.

How is the Austin real estate market overall?
We are currently seeing low inventory – a result of many sellers holding off. On the other hand, there are still plenty of buyers out there looking, especially in your more highly desired areas.

Year over year since about 2017 we have seen a decrease in inventory by about 28%. Homes that are still marketed properly and priced correctly are still flying off the market. But I do foresee a shift. It will definitely depend on job loss and activity in the economy post shelter in place, and with the demand of Austin I do not see this as a HUGE drop in prices, but definitely a shift, and while it still may “numbers-wise” be a seller’s market due to lack of inventory overall, I think perhaps what was once worth $700k in Austin, in the coming months may drop to $650k and buyers may now start having a few more options–again this will all depend on

Here’s a video recap of basically what I just told you above, you can also find more home buying/selling/real estate tips on my YouTube channel.

If you do have any additional questions about either home showings amid the coronavirus or the state of the Austin real estate market, feel free to reach out to me! The team and I are always available to help and happy to answer additional questions.