What Oakland County Home Buyers & Sellers Can Expect in 2020 Due To COVID-19 

What Oakland County Home Buyers & Sellers Can Expect in 2020 Due To COVID-19 

What Oakland County Home Buyers & Sellers Can Expect in 2020 Due to COVID-19Before the pandemic hit this year, we were heading toward a busy spring season with strong economic indicators and buyers vying for a limited supply of homes. But with the pandemic sweeping across the country, we are now forced to reassess the year ahead.

According to realtor.com’s Chief Economist Danielle Hale, “COVID-19 has really dramatically changed the way the housing market is going to perform this year. We started off with the potential for the best year in more than a decade for sales. But we’re going to see ups and downs as the market grapples with an unsteady economy. This will affect buyers and sellers across the board.”

The amount of home sales has fallen over the past couple of months as the pandemic has caused many people to reevaluate their original plans to buy, sell, or potentially even move with the threat of COVID-19 looming over their heads. 

That being said, a revised forecast for 2020 by realtor.com® economists says home sales will rebound in the late summer and fall due largely to millennials eager to own a home of their own.

Real estate experts are also predicting that smaller markets, more affordable cities, and surrounding suburbs could be particularly active as people reconsider their attraction to city life during a pandemic. 

Those following stay-in-place orders while stuck in small-confined living spaces in pricey cities may seek out smaller cities and suburbs where they can get more bang for their buck such as more square footage and possibly even a backyard.

What Oakland County Home Buyers & Sellers Can Expect in 2020 Due to COVID-19

“The experience of being at home for a long period of time has everyone rethinking their priorities,” says Hale. “People are recognizing space is more important, so they’re looking for more affordable areas where they can have more space at the same price.”

The market will experience another downturn toward the end of 2020, according to Realtor.com. Sales of existing homes are expected to drop by around 15% this year compared with the previous year.

Realtor.com is anticipating 4.5 million sales this year, compared with 5.34 million the previous year. Their economic team had originally forecast in the latter part of 2019, that 5.25 million sales would take place in 2020.

For home sellers, there is one statistic that should give some comfort – home prices still appear to be on the rise according to recent data from Realtor.com. In the week ending April 25, the median home list price increased by 1.6% annually – compared to the previous year.

The data comes from the country’s largest metro areas. Given the turmoil in other segments of the economy, this is a positive sign and could provide reassurance regarding the stability of the housing market for those considering buying or selling real estate.

While many buyers have been eagerly anticipating massive falling prices due to the pandemic, and unlike anything we’ve seen since the Great Recession, history isn’t likely to repeat itself this time around.

The reason for this is the number of homes on the market has fallen by about 45% in April along with the demand from buyers. The current market is not experiencing an excessively abundant supply of homes for sale driving prices down, as sellers have been pulling their homes off the market. “Sellers don’t like to reduce their prices. So they decide not to sell,” says Hale.  

Home construction is also expected to slow – fueling the housing shortage. The number of homes on which construction has begun is expected to drop by 11% in 2020. Before COVID-19 stalled construction sites in certain states, realtor.com had expected starts to increase by 10% in 2020.

Partner with Top-rated Oakland County MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam

A top-rated Oakland County MI real estate agent like Tom Gilliam can show you more properties and save you thousands when you buy a home. You need an agent who knows the area, processes a vast network of local connections, and has the skills to negotiate like a pro. 

From first-time homebuyers to multi-million dollar investors, Tom continually strives to provide top quality service for his clients. With access to the most up-to-date MLS listings for Oakland county MI properties, Tom is able to match your lifestyle needs with the perfect home.

If you are ready to list your current property, Tom has the experience and skills necessary to handle the sale and marketing of your home for the best possible results. Tom employs the latest technology to deliver massive exposure for your home to drive responses from buyers.

He also partners with the most talented home stagers to ensure that your home is thoughtfully staged to showcase its features and amenities in the best possible light.

With over 25 years of local real estate experience, Tom will always protect your interests, advocate for you, and go above and beyond to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. 

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Oakland County MI real estate, please give Tom a call today at 248-790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Call: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578

How To Check Out A Potential Neighborhood When You’re Following Stay-at-Home Orders | Realtor Tom Gilliam

How To Check Out A Potential Neighborhood When You’re Following Stay-at-Home Orders | Realtor Tom Gilliam

The coronavirus is completely changing the real estate industry, and stay-at-home orders have presented unique challenges for buyers. Not only are they unable to tour properties in person, but, in some areas, they also can’t walk around the neighborhood and get a feel for whether it’s the kind of neighborhood they want to call home.

But just because you can’t explore an area in person right now doesn’t mean you can’t get a feel for a potential neighborhood—and whether it’s the right fit for you, your family, and your new home.

recent article from realtor.com outlined strategies buyers can use to “test drive” a new neighborhood while they’re sheltering in place, including:

  • Check out local publications and social media. Many neighborhoods have their own newspapers, magazines, or other publications, which can give you insights into the neighborhood vibe. You can also search Facebook groups or use neighborhood-specific social media apps like NextDoor to get a feel for the area.
  • Take a (virtual) walk. You may not be able to visit a neighborhood in person right now, but thanks to Google Street View, you can take a virtual walk and explore the area.
  • Call a real estate agent. A real estate agent that specializes in the area can give you key insights and details about the neighborhood, and help you determine whether an area is the right fit for what you’re looking for.

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re in the market for a new home and want to get a feel for the neighborhood, stay-at-home orders don’t have to stop you. With a little bit of creativity, you can explore neighborhoods near and far—without ever leaving the comfort and safety of your home.

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Oakland County MI real estate, please give Tom a call today at 248-790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Call: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #301741

First-time Homebuyers: Can I Still Buy a House in Oakland County MI During Covid-19?

First-time Homebuyers: Can I Still Buy a House in Oakland County MI During Covid-19?

First-time Homebuyers: Can I Still Buy a House in Oakland County MI During Covid-19? – If you are a first-time homebuyer and were in the market to buy a home in Oakland County prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the situation has more than likely affected your original gameplan.

It’s one thing to have never bought a house before and be in unfamiliar territory. Throw in a pandemic and the situation is now moved into deeper uncharted waters, even for the most seasoned buyer.

The COVID-19 situation has derailed millions of folk’s financial plans including buying property. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

If you were still hoping to purchase a home soon, you probably have a lot of questions like whether it’s even possible to buy a home now or tour a house, or how the pandemic has impacted home prices, and more.

The good news is that many people are still buying houses during this unprecedented time, even though things are a bit different than they were before the coronavirus changed the home buying/selling landscape.

As a first-time homebuyer during the coronavirus, here are a few things to know:  

Can You Still Buy a House Now? 

The answer is yes. Although buying a house today may be more challenging due to health and economic concerns, it is definitely possible. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has declared that residential and commercial real estate services are an essential service.

Search the MLS for Oakland County MI Homes for Sale

If you find a home that seems right for you, have job stability and can get financing at historically low rates, buying property might be a wise choice and the right thing to do – even now.   

You Can Still Shop for a House

You can still shop for a house, but the rules for viewing a property are going to different than before COVID-19. Buyers, sellers, REALTORS, and brokers are coming up with different ways to see and show homes.

Some areas, however, have put a pause order on in-person showings all together. There are also some sellers that might be fine with you touring their house, while others might not be comfortable letting strangers in their home, even if property tours are allowed in your area.

Aside from federal and local restrictions, a lot will depend on the home sellers’ comfort levels. You can also work with an agent and have a virtual showing, where the agent walks through the property with you on Zoom, FaceTime, or some other video conferencing format.

A local real estate agent will know what buyers can and can’t do in your area, so its best to consult an agent for the most accurate, up-to-date information.  

You May Need To Get Your Pre-approval Updated

While the process of getting preapproved for a loan hasn’t changed, as most buyers today do an online preapproval application, the preapproval itself has changed post-coronavirus.

Mortgage lenders are battling economic uncertainty by raising minimum credit scores, requiring higher down payments, triple-checking employment status, and even eliminating certain loan types altogether. 

As some lenders increase their standards (overlays), your price range might change because your approved loan amount is lower, or you may no longer qualify for a loan at all.   

You May or May Not be able to Get an Inspection

Once the house goes under contract, closing is different in today’s world. You’ll still be able to get an appraisal under current regulations, but depending on whether real estate is considered essential in your area, you may not be able to get an inspection.  

If you are able to get an inspection, most likely you and your agent will not be able to attend.  A number of home inspectors are now using live video chatting apps like FaceTime or Zoom to let home buyers tag along remotely. This keeps buyers at a safe distance for home inspections. 

More Buyers Are Doing eClosings

Digital real estate closings or eClosings, give buyers and sellers the ability to sign settlement documents electronically—meaning parties don’t have to meet in a room to close the deal.

Most eClosings are orchestrated by title agents, who often lead individuals through the required paperwork by video conferencing. Most states are now offering electronic notarizations. This map from settlement software company PropLogix shows what states allow digital closings. 

Partner with Top-rated Oakland County MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam

 2020 Best of Farmington Hills REALTOR - Tom GilliamWhether you are looking for homes for sale in Oakland County MI or you are ready to list your current property, experience matters most in a changing market.

With over 25 years of local experience, Tom provides the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and personalized service you need and deserve.

As your personal agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, and go above and beyond to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Oakland County MI real estate, please give Tom a call today at 248-790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Call: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #301741

Should I Sell My Farmington Hills Home During COVID-19 Crisis or Wait?

Should I Sell My Farmington Hills Home During COVID-19 Crisis or Wait?

Should I Sell My Farmington Hills Home During COVID-19 Crisis or Wait?

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing uncertainty in the economy and housing market, some Farmington Hills home sellers are asking themselves: “should I sell my home right now or should I wait?”  Some sellers are choosing to wait it out in hopes that the situation will improve in the coming months.

Not everyone, however, has the luxury to take the wait-and-see approach due to job relocation,  growing family needs, facing a different financial situation, or some other personal reason. 

Although selling a home now and in the near future is going to look a lot different than it did only a few months ago, people haven’t stopped selling houses altogether and real estate transactions are still moving forward. Many sellers are still listing their homes, and buyers are still buying them.

In late March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declared residential real estate sales an “essential service” that will be allowed to continue.

That being said, you should check with your REALTOR® or local government for what’s allowed in your area, and keep in mind that things could change depending on how the coronavirus situation progresses.

Even if real estate businesses are considered essential, they could still have restrictions in some places such as prohibited gatherings exceeding a certain number of people.

So, you couldn’t have, say, more than 10 people in an open house if such a crowd is prohibited. In certain areas, in-person home showings are still taking place, although how they are held and how many people are allowed to attend has changed.

Open houses in accordance with guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the President: 

  • Ensure that less than 10 people are touring the home at any given time, and consider only allowing one buyer group to tour the home at a time.

     

  • Be sure that guests maintain social distancing of six or more feet apart, and require potential buyers to wash their hands or to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately upon entry and to remove shoes/cover footwear with booties.

     

  • Be sure to check with your client before using any cleaning products, and recommend that your client disinfect their home after the open house, especially commonly touched areas like doorknobs and faucet handles.

Alternative Ways to Market Your Farmington Hills Real Estate

Home showings of any kind, including open houses and even private showings, are not allowed under Michigan’s current stay-at-home order. In response, REALTORS® are getting creative, offering tours through 3D-photo or video, Facebook Live, Zoom, and other avenues.

While virtual tours and showings are a great way to keep home sellers and buyers safe, this new reality has raised the bar on how homes should be presented and marketed online.

A few nice photos of your home may not be enough during this time. You only get one chance at a first impression, so you don’t want to be using poorly shot and lit iPhone photos and videos.

Make sure the real estate agent you hire is well-versed in digital technologies that will be used to show off your home in the best possible light. 

Some Homes May be Easier to Sell than Others During COVID-19 

Before you list, ask your REALTOR® how likely your home is to sell in this unusual market. Some properties have a better chance of selling than others based on factors such as: 

  • Price Point – If it’s a beautiful home at a medium price point in your area and it’s priced competitively and staged well, it will have a better chance of selling at this time. Buyers at higher price points who have large holdings in the equity markets may postpone large real estate transactions as they wait for stocks to recover from the market plunge.

     

  • Online Presence and Marketability – In today’s market, your home must shine in online listing photos and videos to convince buyers to leave their house to view it in-person. Now, more than ever, you have to make sure you have professional photography because that’s what people are seeing online. They are not going to open houses and not driving by as much.

     

  • Vacant vs. Occupied –  Vacant properties are receiving the most attention due to ease of viewing while tenant occupied homes are proving more difficult to sell. Tenants have rights, and many don’t want people coming through their house. With “offer subject to interior inspection,” only buyers who make an offer on the property are permitted to view it in-person. While more common to see for tenant-occupied properties, owner-occupied homes may be listed as “offer subject to interior inspection,” as well.

A House Sold During Coronavirus Pandemic

If you sell your Farmington Hills home during the COVID-19 pandemic, your contract may include a coronavirus clause that permits closing extensions and home sale cancellations without legal or financial repercussions. For sellers, this means the buyer may leave the deal without losing their earnest money.

To protect your interests, you can negotiate in what scenarios the buyer keeps their earnest money. For instance, you can amend the clause to state that the buyer must forfeit their earnest money if they withdraw their offer with no reasonable cause.  

The Takeaway

For the best insight on how the coronavirus Pandemic is affecting the local market, reach out to a top real estate agent that specializes in your area.

Top agents track daily updates and evolving COVID-19 regulations, and can help you determine whether your Farmington Hills property is marketable at this time as well as answer any questions you may have, and accommodate any special needs such as a contactless home assessment.

Partner with Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam

 2020 Best of Farmington Hills REALTOR - Tom GilliamWhether you are looking for homes for sale in the Farmington Hills or you are ready to list your current property, experience matters most in a changing market.

With over 25 years of local experience, Tom provides the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and personalized service you need and deserve.

As your personal agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, and go above and beyond to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. 

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Farmington Hills real estate, please give Tom a call today at 248-790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Call: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #301741

3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)

3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected life across the globe. Strict social distancing measures, school closures, and, in many locales, a ban on all non-essential businesses have turned people’s lives upside down and thrust us into a surreal existence where we’re spending nearly all of our time at home.

From a real estate perspective, it would be disingenuous to say that nothing has changed. Great agents are honest at all times, even (especially) when it’s difficult.

That said, there’s no indication that we’re in (or headed toward) a housing crisis like the once-in-a-century 2008 collapse. And, by all accounts, the fundamentals of the housing market remain in place, despite the safety precautions enforced by health and government officials.

The following list may help you better understand what’s changed and what hasn’t in the world of real estate:

What’s changed:

1. Access to showings

In many places, the process of showing a home has changed. Some states have put limits on the number of people allowed to gather in one place, which has impacted open houses. Additionally, sellers, buyers, and agents are taking more precautions to keep themselves safe, with more cleaning, access to protective gear, and enforced distancing measures becoming the norm. Digital-only showings are also growing in popularity, although they’re still relatively new. Despite all this, if there’s a home you’re interested in seeing, it’s still possible to make it happen.

2. The closing process

Much of the work that needs to be done between going under contract to sell or buy a house and the closing can be done remotely and electronically. But there are many things that need to be done by many people throughout the process. From the mortgage, to the title work, to inspections and appraisals, getting to the closing table depends upon a lot of people doing their job. Social distancing and working entirely remotely has a certain learning curve while everyone involved figures out how to get their end of things done. So, the process may take at least a little longer, and change as everyone figures out the best way to handle things. The upshot to this is that it could create better, more efficient ways of doing things moving forward.

3. Some mortgage products

Perhaps the most impactful changes in the real estate industry are happening in the mortgage market. The conditions on certain products are being tightened, and some lenders are temporarily exiting the market altogether. Jumbo loans (a type of financing where the loan amount is higher than the conforming loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency) seem to be feeling the most impact, while conventional loans, which are considered less risky, have been less affected. If you have questions about getting pre-approved, you should contact a mortgage professional who can help you better understand your options.

What hasn’t changed:

1. People’s dreams

Even when the whole world comes to a stop, our hearts and minds do not. We all have dreams, whether it’s owning a fabulous condo in the city, a sprawling victorian with a rolling lawn, or a starter home that we can finally call our own. A pandemic doesn’t change that, even though it can help put things in perspective and remind us of what matters most. But don’t let the strange times we’re in stop you from daydreaming and working toward those dreams. A pandemic is temporary; our hopes are not.

2. Housing demand

There’s been a well-documented housing shortage for years, and there’s no indication that the fundamentals have yet changed. That said, every real estate market is unique, and what holds true on a macro-level may not hold true in your local area. Regardless of the specific market and overall demand in your area, people always need homes, despite a pandemic. So, if you want to sell, there’s likely a buyer for your home. And if you want to buy, there’s likely a seller who’d love to sell.

3. Our desire to help

Most agents eat, breathe, and sleep real estate, and aside from looking out for our loved ones and wishing for a healthy and safe resolution to this mess, that hasn’t changed. We want to help you with your real estate needs because we’re passionate about what we do, and it’s likely that our newfound home-time has coincided with a lot more real estate research than it has with cleaning or learning how to play the guitar.

Realtor-Tom Gilliam is your expert to buy or sell your home in Oakland County, Michigan, the Oakland County community’s number one Realtor. In Oakland County, Michigan, you need to find a Realtor who knows the community.

Tom Gilliam currently lives in the Oakland County Area and is very familiar with the market, neighborhoods, schools and community issues. His office is located into the heart of Farmington Hills, with five additional offices throughout the south east metropolitan area to serve his clients real estate needs

changes in housing since pandemic

3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)

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