JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBMA) — The COVID-19 situation is affecting the real estate market, just like every other industry, so is now the best time to buy or sell?
"As we go into this virus season, things are going to be drastic because the market has to correct itself," says Candis Austin, a realtor with Keller Williams Realty.
If you thought spring time was the best time to buy or sell your house, you still may be right, but there are a few things to consider.
"We're trying our best to keep the sellers and buyers as comfortable as possible and we're actually having to shift a little bit to do virtual open houses and virtual showings," she says.
Realtors like Austin aren't taking any chances.
"I did a little virtual and I had scheduled showing for open house. So, people couldn't just come in they had to come in at set times. I made them glove up, I made them wear face masks, I made them use Clorox wipes and I had all the lights on, the doors were all open so they could have minimal touching. We have to be very creative during these times," says Austin.
Several real estate startups like Zillow, Opendoor, and Redfin have temporarily paused making offers on homes, but people are still look for the best deals.
"What I've noticed is that people are still buying, and they are serious. So, I've shared with my sellers as well-- if they are serious out here in this virus looking for a home-- they're serious all the way around," says Austin.
So serious, she put a property on the market last week and 12 showings and 24 hours later a family closed on the house.
Home inventory is low and interest rates are low, but you could still be looking at shelling out some cash before you get the keys to the new crib.
"In this region we've been accustomed to the seller covering all of the closing costs. Well, with the times the way they are and the inventory being so low, you may have to come out of your pocket for that closing cost. Not only if you do an FHA loan at 3.5% down, you may have to come up with your 3.5% plus your closing cost. So, I need people to be very mindful, have a little extra money because it's going to cost you to buy in this season," Austin says.
Some experts also say this might be an opportunity to refinance, especially if your mortgage is at a high rate.
What you need to know about COVID-19 (coronavirus)
More COVID-19 (coronavirus) information
Alabama COVID-19 (coronavirus) tracking map