Sellers’ market is ‘scorching hot’

By: Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published October 6, 2020

Shutterstock image

METRO DETROIT — According to local real estate agents, the housing market this time of year has never been hotter for those interested in putting their homes up for sale.

With an ease in the lockdown and record low interest rates, the time is now to put your home on the market.

Experts agree that the surge of activity coming out of the lockdown is continuing its momentum.

“Certainly, there’s a pent-up demand, which is largely due to the demand as buyers are acting now after delaying purchases that they would have otherwise made in the spring,” said Shaun Shaya, of Keller Williams Domain: Luxury Homes International. “Many people are re-evaluating their housing needs.”

He said the major contributors to demand include those working from home, particularly those stuck in apartments, as well as those who want more space for any number of reasons.

“Home offices are very in demand right now,” Shaya said. “But it’s still a seller’s market, as inventory remains low compared to the demand that’s out there. Demand has really driven the home prices, along with low interest rates.”

Shaya added that the demand is driven by many first-time homebuyers, who can get frustrated by the quick turnover of attractive homes on the market.

He said there is a lot of pressure on the middle market sector — empty nesters looking to downsize, as well as those looking for more space for younger families.

“We’ve seen a really strong demand in the Woodward corridor area — Ferndale, Royal Oak, Berkley,” he said.

Multiple real estate agents agree that a positive takeaway from the pandemic has been the rise of the digital transaction.

“You can list, see and close on a home completely virtually,” Shaya said. “Some of those practices and technology will stick with us.”

From using phones to provide virtual tours to hiring professional photographers and videographers to showcase the best of a home on the market, experts agree that the pandemic has necessitated a new and innovative way to make both buyers and sellers comfortable.

Joe Delia, of Keller Williams Paint Creek, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the sellers’ market and turned it into an “extreme.” According to Delia, the market has shrunk while the demand has skyrocketed.

Delia noted that the presidential election coming up in November seems to have many sellers and buyers nervous to wait until the outcome.

Another issue has been the fear in the time of a global pandemic about allowing strangers into one’s home. Technology, however, has provided a way for sellers to get the price they want, he said.

“With 3D tours, professional photography and mandatory preapproved buyers, our sellers love it,” Delia said. “Literally, now is the greatest time in the history of real estate to sell your house. There’s never been a better time than today.”

Delia added that the global pandemic has also changed the way people utilize their living spaces, particularly putting an emphasis on home offices and outdoor entertaining areas. For example, he said, the wait time for a property with a pool is at least two years out.

“I think we’re going to stay with record low interest rates,” he said. “The process is extremely competitive.”

As far as tips for potential buyers, Delia advised to offer free occupancy to the seller after closing, write a love letter to the seller outlining why the home is desirable, and to pay some of the seller’s closing costs.

“The fall and winter market is a great time to sell your home,” he said. “It’s one of the best times to sell your home, especially if you don’t have awesome landscaping.”

He said the market is the hottest it has ever been — “scorching hot,” with no pullback normally seen from parents looking to settle down before enrolling their children in a particular school district.