Coronavirus impact on real estate sales

Graphic of a house under quarantineThis post on the coronavirus impact on real estate sales here in Silicon Valley is updated periodically, depending on unfolding events, so please check back often.

The market for houses is hot (still)

The coronavirus pandemic caused a worldwide surge of buyers rushing to purchase homes with more square footage, more rooms (home office, room for elderly parents to move in), and more outside space.

Locally, single family home prices rose about 20% over one year, despite the initial lockdown and restrictions on showings. Pools had not been so desirable pre-Covid, but now they are more sought after as buyers want to vacation at home.

Initially, it was challenging to sell a condo or townhouse, particularly if there was no patio, balcony, yard, etc. Those homes did start appreciating, but have not performed nearly as well as detached housing has.

Now, in September 2021, many of the requirements have been lifted. Buyers are still interested, but the steep appreciation has priced some buyers out of the market.

Quick overview of what is and isn’t allowed with real estate listings and sales

The landscape for home sales is complicated and more restricted than pre-pandemic times, but easier than it was in March – May 2020. The market is strange in many ways, but it is possible to buy and sell now and actually is not so hard at this point.

What’s changed with Covid: (more…)

The theatre of real estate: scripted or improv? Real estate objection handling….

Realtors tend to love real estate because of the flexible hours, being one’s own boss, the unlimited income possibility (that’s the ideal, perhaps not the reality recently) and the fact that every day is unique.  There’s not a lot of dull routine in real estate sales!  It’s equally diverse among the personalities and work styles in real estate, too.

It may surprise you to learn that many successful agents spend a great deal of time “practicing scripts and dialogues“.  These are the folks who have pat answers to every question (or “objection”).  The answers may not always be authentic, but they are designed to “close” you – that is, to get you to sign the listing agreement or the purchase contract.

That’s one extreme.

At the other, you find people who’ve been real estate sales people for years but cannot respond to the commonly-asked-questions like “why should I …” (fill in the blank).

Good Realtors or real estate agents or licensees SHOULD be familiar with the most commonly asked questions and they ought to be prepared to respond to them.  The very best agents know the most commonly asked questions.  They may not have memorized pat answers that sound like sound bites on a news show, but they actually do know the content and can listen and then articulate a reasonable response.  They know their stuff, so they can improv – but it’s an educated improv. To me, that’s the best.

And guess what? If a question is totally foreign, they don’t have some slimy quick response to put you off, instead they’ll say “I don’t know, but I’ll find out”.  That’s not a bad answer.  Don’t you prefer honesty over a sales technique? I sure do!  It’s authentic. (Real estate is full of new experiences.  The agents who’ve been around for decades will offer that they continue to learn something new on every transaction.)

[Worried about being given a dose of “real estate objection handling“?  Take a little time and do a web browser search of this term or similar terms.]