Moving in a COVID-19 Housing Market

COVID-19 Update

Let’s face it: moving is stressful. In a normal world, the process is daunting but a task The Steller Group has successfully helped more than 1,500 clients navigate. Take Sid and Deb, for example.

Sid and Deb of Centennial knew they would be moving in the summer of 2020. Having owned their home for 40-plus years, it was time to contact a Realtor who specialized in downsize moving. Sid and Deb reached out to The Steller Group’s lead senior agent, Blair Bryant, who devised a detailed plan that included low-cost and high-yield recommendations to improve salability, all on a timeline that allowed a move into their new home on schedule. The Steller Group was able to coordinate all the improvements, as well as removal and sale of personal items that wouldn’t be going into their new home. The Steller Group staged the home at no extra cost, knowing it would produce a higher sales price and quicker sale. Within 24 hours of listing the home in mid-February, Sid and Deb had three offers, with the winning bid coming in $25,000 over asking price. All appeared to be smooth sailing, until COVID-19 effectively shut down the economy. Regardless, The Steller Group was able to manage the transaction professionally and carefully to guide Sid and Deb to a successful closing.

Sid and Deb aren’t an anomaly: many have been left wondering how their home sale will be impacted now that the global pandemic of COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Is the bottom of the market going to drop out? Will they even be able to sell their homes? These worries are understandable but so far, the data paints a much different picture.

One of the most important dynamics involved in selling a home is supply and demand. The good news for Denver is that overall housing inventory is still low: in early March there were 4,835 homes available, approximately a 30-day supply. In May, inventory increased to 6,855 homes on the market. Generally speaking, the market is considered a “seller’s market” until we see four months of inventory, so our market definitely still favors sellers.

But what about demand? Are buyers really out there and are they still buying? The good news so far is yes. During the past three weeks since the stay-at-home restrictions were eased, The Steller Group’s listings have been consistently going under contract, several within 24 hours of hitting the market and with multiple offers. This wild market activity was anticipated due to pent-up demand during the stay-at-home order, and we expect this demand to carry through the early summer months.

Fall is historically a quieter time in the real estate market as kids go back to school, the days shorten, and the holiday season closes in. On top of the customary swings in the market, this year will also bring the election, which has a track record of slowing down the market as everyone enters a wait-and-see mentality. Considering these factors, the market is currently sound, but will be experiencing disruption as we work through summer into the fall.

As you plan your future move, it is extremely important to align with a real estate professional who will help navigate the ebbs and flows of the market, and properly prepare your home. Through staging, decluttering, and cosmetic improvements, a real estate expert will not only help your home sell for the top price the market will bear, but will also negotiate the best terms. Now, more than ever, it’s important to have a trustworthy and knowledgeable expert guide you through the complex steps of a move and help you achieve your downsizing goal. Please feel free to call 720.593.9355 if we can be of any assistance.