• Karen Packard

What Will Happen in the Real Estate Market Once the “Stay at Home” Order is Lifted?

Sterling and Princeton have experienced very low inventory in the housing market over the past couple years. This has helped keep the listing and selling prices high in our towns. The demand for houses has exceeded our supply for the past 24 months, making it more of a seller’s market.


Typically our inventory improves each year in April and May with many more homes coming on the market for sale in the spring. Unfortunately, with the coronavirus pandemic, we did not see the normal amount of listings become available in April. Both Sterling and Princeton had very few new listings come on the market this past month. This leads me to think that as soon as things start to get back to normal, we could see a flood of new inventory hit the market. Sellers who have been waiting to list during the pandemic will put their houses up for sale.


What does this mean for the market?


In my opinion, this will create a very busy summer! Buyers are ready to buy and getting antsy. Many buyers I have spoken to are just waiting for more inventory. Some have put their house hunting on hold during the spring because of safety concerns. Others just haven’t been able to find the right house for their needs with little available from which to choose.


But, in the past few weeks, I have had calls from buyers and buyer agents looking to see if I have anything coming on the market or anything that can be sold “off-market.” This is a good sign that buyers are still ready to move forward with their house buying plans this year.


I have been watching the market carefully this spring trying to stay ahead of the curve for my clients. I also have been talking to sellers, buyers, other agents and experts in the field. Based on my research, I do believe we will see a lot of new listings coming on the market in May and June. I think our “spring market” will continue into July this year with the late start.


I also believe this will make a strong summer and fall market. Most of the time, the summer slows down with vacations planned and families home enjoying the time off. All of that has changed this year. Families will most likely be staying local. They also have had the kids out of school all spring which takes away the summer novelty of enjoying the summer break. I believe that as soon as people feel it is safe to resume normal activity, the real estate market will see a huge increase in activity.


The challenges may be a little different depending on how the government plans to reopen the economy, how the industry reacts and how quickly our related industries can get back to work. There were some challenges with appraisals, title searches, closings and more during the month of April. So, I will be watching closely how those related industries make adjustments moving into late spring and summer.


I have already spoken with some of my contacts regarding these challenges we will be facing. One example, I always hire a professional photographer for my listings and he has expressed concerns about keeping up with the demand for photography if sellers all decide to list at the same time. So, we have a plan to work through that as May gets underway. I am working with my contacts to come up with ways to get the house ready now so we are prepared to list their home at the right time.


So, if you are thinking of selling this spring or summer, I would recommend talking to your agent now. You will want to discuss what you need to do to be ready and come up with a plan that works for you and your agent.


Happy Buying and Selling!



Have a Real Estate Question?


Feel free to email me any of your questions and I would be happy to answer them next month in this column or directly to you. Email me at kpackardrealtor@gmail.com

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