How is the coronavirus affecting our real estate business?

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I don't think anyone knows the answer to this question. That's because COVID-19 statistics are changing by the hour. But I do believe that since the Lowcountry's real estate market was strong coming into this crisis, that our real estate market will be just as strong when the crisis is over.

Does that mean that now is the time to buy? Yes, I think it is. Mortgage rates are dropping and houses are becoming more affordable. However, potential buyers might want to know more about how their own financial situations will be affected before making any buying decisions.

Does that mean that it is also a good time to sell? Again, I think the answer is "yes." Reduced mortgage rates, low supply of homes for sale, and high demand for Hilton Head Island-Bluffton homes are advantageous to home sellers.

While the outbreak of this virus has shaken the stock market, affected our local economy and changed the way we live, I still see an "active Lowcountry real estate market." As I hear talk of a recession, depression, and feel uncertainty in the air, I still see new listings coming on market and homes going under contract.

While there seem to be fewer showing requests, there's no shortage of buyers looking at homes online. Listings are enjoying an enormous amount of online views on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Hilton Head Multiple Listing Service (HHIMLS) and other internet real estate directories.

How are local real estate agents adapting? Very smartly, I think. Whether buying or selling, real estate customers and-or clients are able to visit online portals and check out homes for sale from top to bottom from the privacy and safety of their own homes.

Thanks to technology provided by the HHIMLS, Lowcountry real estate agents are using professional photography and compelling property descriptions to create property panoramas and virtual open houses to market and sell homes online.

Many local real estate companies and agents have their own websites where one can search all homes that are for sale. Some sites highlight specific communities or homes.

I believe that our Lowcountry real estate market will continue to be strong. As we work our way through this health crisis, I hope that you are healthy and stay that way!

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. Larry@RealEstateFive.com, RealEstateFive.com, SunCityOpenHouses247.com

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