Because we all need good news, in this update about the impact of Coronavirus on Chicago real estate, we’re sharing a heart warming story.
It’s from our Managing Broker, Chuck Gullett and it’s all about how Coronavirus couldn’t stop his relocating clients from finding and buying the home they love.
Successfully buying a home in the age of Coronavirus
“So, I have these clients relocating from Boston to Chicago. They had visited in the fall to get a feel for Chicago neighborhoods and homes. Their intention was to buy during the Chicago spring market.
During their visit, they decided that Roscoe Village was the best neighborhood for them. So, I had been sending listings over.
Then Coronavirus appeared on the scene.
So, we began strategizing together on whether to secure a short-term rental or continue to try and find a home to purchase. Knowing that with the current limited inventory on the market that could prove very difficult.
Well, the perfect property hit the market for sale. The home checked all of the boxes for them. And they decided to act.
Instead of them jumping on a flight to Chicago to see it, we did a FaceTime virtual walkthrough of the property. They asked a lot of great questions as we walked through the place.
Then I followed up with a very detailed video pointing out all the plusses and minuses of the house.
That video became a valuable decision tool that they frequently referenced and even shared with friends and family.
They ended up writing an offer electronically using DocuSign. And we successfully negotiated with the sellers over the next several days.
The closing is scheduled for mid-May. And my clients are happily looking forward to living in Chicago’s wonderful Roscoe Village neighborhood!”
How we work now
- Chicago real estate brokers are in the “essential service” category
- However, our buyer, seller and renter clients are not considered “essential” by the city and thus Chicago’s stay-at-home order applies to them.
- So, for buyers and renters, we are conducting personal 1-1 online video walk-through tours via Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime.
- Then following-up with a detailed property pros and cons video.
- For sellers, we are using technology to professionally manage all aspects of their listings without any face-to-face contact.
- As is our normal practice, listing agreements, offers and contracts are being executed electronically using DocuSign.
- Home inspections, appraisals and closings are all being successfully managed with social distancing.
- Though our office remains closed, our brokers are available for you via phone, text, email, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime.
Our clients continue to have a range of reactions depending on their individual circumstances.
Some sellers are pausing
Some sellers who have a choice are waiting to list their homes. Others who have listed are temporarily taking their homes off the market.
Our Chicago Market Report shows a decline in available inventory in March, the month where inventory is normally on the rise for the busy spring market.
For those who wish to sell now, it is certainly possible. Plus, since many sellers are on the sidelines your property may get more attention.
And all aspects of listing your property can be professionally managed without face-to-face meetings.
Some buyers are jittery
Many buyers remain quite unsure of their economic future. As such, they are staying on the sidelines. Some have lost their jobs. Some have lost their down payment nest egg in the volatile stock market.
However, those with more certainty about their economic situation are still game. And many are jumping in to take advantage of attractive mortgage interest rates.
Today the 30-year fixed rate is hovering at about 3.25%. Rates have been in flux more than usual but they remain very attractive. Bankrate is a good source for today’s mortgage and refinance rates.
Once we “flatten the curve”, and Chicago lifts the “stay-at-home” order, we will gain clarity as to the Chicago market.
At that point, we expect pent-up demand to result in a steady resumption of buying, selling and renting activity.
For the remainder of 2020, the impact of coronavirus on Chicago real estate will continue to be significant.
We are hopeful that by June the market will begin to return to a more stable footing.
Watch employment rates as they will be an important indicator as to how fast the Chicago real estate market can return to “normal”.
Most importantly, we hope that you and your families remain safe and healthy. Thanks for reading!