Let me preface this blog by saying that I am not an economist, nor am I a specialist in infectious illnesses. However, I am an observer. I DO keep an eye on things, and I DO make every effort to stay informed, specifically in regard to real estate matters. 

Let’s not beat around the bush… COVID 19 (the Coronavirus) is a real thing. Whether the hype is real, or overblown, Coronavirus has undoubtedly affected every American in one way or another. Maybe your 401K has taken a hit in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps you have been stuck at home with your family, unable to eat at your favorite restaurant questioning where your next roll of toilet paper will come from…. Let’s hope you’re not that person. For most the effects have been purely social, but for others the financial hardship caused by this has and may continue to be an issue for months to come. 

To curb the financial woes of the virus and stimulate the floundering economy, the Federal Reserve has taken action to lower interest rates to unprecedented levels. Meaning the cost of borrowing money has never been lower, and may even continue to come down in the coming weeks. For savvy individuals, with a secure financial outlook, this is a great time to refinance or even purchase new real estate. Although some buyers may be apprehensive about making a major purchase, there are still plenty that are looking to take advantage while the window of opportunity is open. I’m not saying that things won’t slow at some point, as is common with the ebb and flow of markets, but as a company, we have not seen any sort of decline in buyer activity as of late. If anything it is fair to say that things have even picked up, in terms of calls on listings and new contracts being written.  

What does this mean for real estate sellers? In the last couple of days, I have spoken with a handful of sellers, a few of which have expressed serious optimism. But also a few others with  reservations about listing their properties in these uncertain times. If you are of the latter persuasion, let me ask you, “What harm is there in listing your property?” Although you may receive a low ball offer from a predatory buyer who is looking for a deal, you don’t have to accept it. Nobody is going to twist your arm, if you aren’t willing to let your arm be twisted. However, by sitting on your listing, you may be missing out on some great opportunities.  As the hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss every shot you don’t take”. In much the same way, you may miss a great opportunity to sell your property, if you decide to sit on it. 

What we do know, is that there is a shelf life to this illness. Markets will stabilize, investments will be recouped and life will return to “normal”. We all have a decision to make, we can choose to be fearfully conservative, or we can choose to look for the silver lining. To look for opportunities to make this challenging time a season of growth and profitability. You may be surprised how well things turn out. 

By: Jason Manderbach (jm@lakestatelandco.com)

Photo: Seth Vanderband (@sethvband)

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