April 02, 2020 at 1:53pm | Mac Rogers
Hi guys it's Mac with Albert Rogers Realty here in Castro Valley CA. Here with a market update. Crazy time right now. My family is staying safe and trying to stay sane.

Its April 1st and boy don't we all wish that this virus was one big joke. Back in mid February the talk was what could derail this longest bull market that we have in history. Unemployment was very low. Interest rates were in check and productivity was high.

Then boom we got hit by this thing that no one could have seen coming. I mean if someone told me that the whole world would be stopping and would put everyone on the edge, I would ask you what are you smoking? So real estate. One of America's favorite pastime. What is going on?? At the beginning of March, the real estate market was just humming along. Rates were low and buyers were falling all over themselves with the lack of inventory. We were poised or headed for another amazing year!

We came to a screeching halt when shelter-in-place was announced. Basically there was no showings, no open houses, you couldn't do anything. Then everybody started asking if we are going to see 2007-2008 all over again. Uncertainty, fear, panic. Buyers just stopped looking at houses. Foot traffic and request for showings went down. Not completely but significantly down. There are still buyers out there. I don't want you to think that everything stopped. As a matter of fact I have 2 buyers in contract and one listing pending. BUT the activity is no where near where it should be right now for this time of the year.

The numbers for March is not out yet but I don't think it will be that bad since work stoppage didn't happen until mid March. But going forward. April will be dismal. So what now? Are we going to see real estate crash 2.0? First of all this is not a repeat of 2007-2008. There is no excess lending or lax underwriting. What is fueling this real estate market is demand and lack of supply.

2nd is that homeowners are not in debt right now. Meaning they have equity. Before the market crashed in 2008 homeowners were cashing out on the equity of their homes like crazy. It was like a virtual none stop ATM. When the music stopped, they didn't have any incentive to keep or sell the house because there was no equity. They simply walked away.

So what do you do now if you are a buyer or a seller? Let's start with a buyer. If you are a buyer and you feel confident about your situation, there are probably some homes that you might be able to snatch-up right now without any competition. Specially if the neighborhood that you want is very competitive. If you are on the fence, you might just want to be ready so that once this thing gets straighten out, you are ready to act.

For sellers, if your home is already on the market, you have to balance what you want to accomplish along with your safety and the safety of others. Showings are discouraged right now. What we have been doing at Albert Rogers Realty that now everyone else is catching up to is virtual showings, videos, 3D tours, floors plans etc. If you want to know more about our Disruptive Digital Marketing, how we put your home in front of thousands of buyers, I will put a link to that video in the description below.

Let's continue with sellers. If the home is vacant, it's probably ok to put it out there since there are no people inside. I wouldn't be concerned too much if it sits on the market since everybody is aware of what's going on. If its occupied and you are thinking of going on the market I would be more cautious. At this point in time there's very little activity so it's not like you will be missing out on anything. Unless you want to price your property super attractive, I doubt that you will get the traffic you want to get and the offer that you want.

Here's the deal. So long as we have this shelter-in-place and limitations on showings, we are bound to stay like this for awhile. As of right now that is until the end of April depending on where you are. This would probably be the best time to start working on the house and just like the buyers, make sure that your home is ready when its go time. What I see happening is that once it's go time, there will be more inventory with the current inventory we have plus new homes coming in. But that would probably be a short term thing.

That's where we are and where we will be most likely for the next 60 to 90 days. Once everyone calms down, we should see it back to where we were. By all indications this is not a real estate meltdown. If you have any questions or comments, whether you are a buyer or a seller, please don't hesitate to ask. We want to make sure that you are informed before making one of the biggest decision in your life.

I hope you and your family is staying safe. We can only get through this by helping each other and acting in a rational manner. God bless you and your family.
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