CHANTILLY, VA -- A real estate agent team says that housing market in the Washington, D.C. area is thriving, despite the challenges surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Sarah Reynolds, CEO of the Reynolds Team, says that homeowners are continuing to sell their homes, but the real estate industry is taking added precautions to ensure the safety of agents, sellers, and potential buyers.
"The reality is...people are still moving, and the market is really good right now because inventory is low. So less homes did come on the market in our area in April, but the buyer's demand is very high. Right now 80 percent of the appointments that we're booking right now are with buyers...and so what we're finding is that sellers are getting top dollar for their home right now," Reynolds told 104.7 WONK FM's Jen Richer.
Reynolds says buyer demand is up partially due to the shelter-in-place guidelines under the pandemic has many of us taking a look around our home and realizing it doesn't fit our needs. The other contributing factor has to do with the economy.
"Interest rates are at historic lows, and money right now is basically free. If a buyer is confident in their job, they're still actively looking for a home because they want to take advantage of the low interest rates," Reynolds explained.
A major change the industry is seeing is the way sellers are showing their homes. As COVID-19 is continuing to spread throughout the country, understandably, both homeowners and potential buyers have concerns about exposure. Reynolds has created a program to help protect against the virus.
"We have a 'Safe House' program as well as our 'COVID-19 Seller Protection' plan, and basically what those programs allow is for us to sell the home both virtually...or to allow buyers to be in for a period of time, and then we're getting the home professionally cleaned," Reynolds described.
Many agents are requiring potential buyers to wear gloves and masks while touring the homes, and limiting the number of people in the home at one time to just the agent and the potential buyer.
Reynolds also emphasized how important it is for the community to pull together during the crises. The Reynolds team has been feeding the workers on the frontlines, highlighting businesses who have been serving the community on their portal, and distributing information to help keep the community safe.
Reynolds included her personal cell phone number with that information for residents to call her for professional advice, but to connect neighbors with each other to help with their grocery shopping, childcare, and help pay bills. Her note reads, "It does not need to be about real estate. It can be a personal issue. I'll see if I can assist in some way." She said, "it's part of our calling to make sure that we're being available for them, during this time. We're not here just about real estate, we're here to serve people and answer their questions, and help them."
Listen to the full interview with 104.7 WONK FM's Jen Richer here: