AUSTIN, Texas — Practically everything in our lives is affected by COVID-19, and that includes the housing market.
Lori Thomison, a Realtor with Re/Max Posh Properties in Austin, said even though inventory is lower than usual, people are still buying and selling.
"We were very busy up until a couple of weeks ago," said Thomison. "I think things are tapering off a little bit just because of the uncertainty, but our homes are still moving."
During this pandemic, she said her selling process has changed dramatically.
Thomison said she is vetting her clients more and trying to use 3D tours online if she can. While that isn't always possible, she wears protective gear when showing homes in person. For minimal contact, she asks her clients to leave the lights on in the home.
Even her closing process has changed. She said while closing online is ideal, it isn't practical for everyone and it has risks.
"Within the real estate transaction, there's always the possibility of people trying to obtain your information and sending fraudulent emails, intercepting wires," said Thomison.
She said she has closed on homes using a multitude of options, including drive-thru closings.
"I basically have to park my car in the parking lot away from the client," explained Thomison. "What they're doing is printing the documents on a clipboard, highlighting everywhere it needs to be signed then just handing it to them through the window."
She said with interest rates still historically low, closer to 3%, it's still a good time to buy a home.
"Real estate in Austin does not tend to get cheaper over time, and real estate is a long-term investment," said Thomison. "So, like I tell my clients, this is a temporary situation."
Thomison said the Austin housing market is resilient and will be OK in the long run.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: