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Buying and Selling during a pandemic…


We are in uncharted territory in many areas. As a broker in Central Florida, I am constantly looking at trends and issues that affect the home sale process. While I would like to say. Things are steady right now, things are not. It’s not all gloom and doom depending on who is buying and who is selling.

Today, I’d like to share with you my perspective on a few scenarios. As you already know, I am affiliated with CENTURY 21 real estate and working with a global company has its perks in gathering a well-rounded view of the current state of affairs. Here is what I know to be true. People still need to move! Even though some job markets have disappeared, others are still on track to relocate, creating a need for available homes and also providing homes that need to be sold. One transfer can result in multiple home sales from start to finish. If you happen to be the person selling chance are you will be very happy with the results. Inventory is low in many markets, giving sellers the ability to test out the waters for a higher value. Tope real estate agents will tell you that when working with buyers, they are seeing multiple offer situations. There are more buyers than available homes for sure. So what do you do if you need to buy a home?

Personally, I would try and locate new construction if you have the time to wait. The new homes of today have some great green features that not only save money, but also increase affordability. In the past several months, I have sold some new construction homes, including inventory homes that are ready to buy. Contrary to belief, you can buy new construction “off the rack” and sometimes even negotiate! Builders in general do not like their homes sitting empty and will usually offer a few more incentives to get you to buy them. Now, if you like a specific area that is not new, you might need to get a little more creative. I recommend you start with your financing. Most buyers prefer some sort of financing instead of paying cash. I know, every real estate agent tells you to get pre qualified, but what does that really mean? If I were in the market to buy, I would start with a reputable lender and get them every piece of info they need to get me pre-approved. That carries a lot more weight than just pre-qualified. It means, that all a buyer needs to do is an appraisal and they should be ready to buy without any issues. So many times, buyer want to hold off getting this done, thinking it will hurt their credit or that it somehow messes things up. They will say, “I’ll get that done when I find the right house.” and then when they find the perfect home, they loose it to someone who has their letter in hand. I know this to be true, because I work with both buyers and sellers and believe me when I tell you that a sellers has no interest in entertaining an offer with someone who won’t take the time to get properly vetted for a purchase. They tend to have too many options and why should they take a chance on accepting an offer that won’t go through? Be smart and do your homework upfront and be sure your agent does the same in positioning you for success.

Speaking of agents, you really need to do your homework before selecting one to list or help you buy. A reputable agent will have multiple reviews and references. As a top realtor in Central Florida, I see a lot of really bad offers come across my desk. My heart goes out to the buyers who likely have no idea that the reason they didn’t get the house, was because their agent didn’t represent them well. I’m talking about agents that don’t answer messages or calls, write poor contracts and simply fail to follow simple instructions. I had a hot listing last week that had 5 offers, all within a few thousand dollars of each other. At least three, had such glaring errors that the seller decided to ignore them and work with the other offers. That’s a shame, but when you have to choose only one deal, sometimes it’s just easier to eliminate the obvious. While most agents have the best of intentions, this doesn’t mean they know how to properly transact real estate. I can’t stress enough how important it is to interview your agent before agreeing to work with them.

Bottom line, if you are planning on buying or selling in this or frankly any market, it pays to do your own research. You should also know that there are roughly 10K agents in my area (Central Florida) at any given time and a majority of those agents do maybe one or two deals a year. Like any other practice or craft, repetition is helpful, however don’t rely purely on time in the business. Many long term agents have become dinosaurs, by not embracing technology or refusing to adapt in a digital world, while others have become so digital that they can’t hold a real time conversation and rely purely on texting and email. Find the combo that works for you and then stick with it! Happy hunting!

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