To Our Valued Real Estate Clients:

In this time of “Stay-at-Home” mandated by Governor Jay Inslee, Jim and I wanted to reach out to all of you to share some insights on how all of this will impact the real estate industry here locally.

In short, the real estate industry is not considered an “essential” industry, so we will all be working from home.  We will not be allowed to perform any activity that requires us to be in the home of another person(s) until the “stay-at-home” mandate has been lifted. For real estate practitioners, that’s pretty much everything we do.

Will the real estate industry collapse?  Will prices fall through the floor?

To be sure, we are in uncharted waters so none of us know or can guess how this will all play out, but…

On-Hold

For the duration of the “stay-at-home” mandate, we know that the real estate industry will be on-hold. 

Pent-Up-Demand

Once the mandate is lifted, we believe that the on-going demand will bring the market back in full strength.  We saw this happen as we emerged from the real estate recession, and – while greatly different in cause – we expect the market to re-emerge quickly and strongly.

Will Prices Fall?

During the mandate, there will be no reason for prices to fall.  There will be no showings allowed so no real effective way bring buyers into contract on a house they haven’t had the ability to see and feel.  Lowering the price will not enhance the possibility of a sale, hence there should be no reason to lower the price.

Homes on Active

What about those homes that are already listed and are currently “Active” on the market?  Not a problem, there will just be no showing activity.  In fact, this would be a good time to be on the market when you consider all the on-line viewing activity that can take place.

Time on Market

What about those homes that are already on the market?  Will they continue to accumulate days-on-market time?  Yes, they will continue to accrue time on the market.  Our NWMLS has looked into the possibility of turning off the accumulation of time on these listings, but the technical challenge is greater than the benefit, so at this time, those market days will continue to accumulate.

Will This Hurt?

We don’t believe that the accumulating market time will be something that buyers will use as a point of leverage over sellers.  Extended market time in a time when the market really didn’t function at all, cannot be something that ultimately provides buyer leverage.  Given the buyer competition that existed just before the mandate, and that which we fully expect to return after the mandate, this should be a non-factor in the market.

Are We Available?

Absolutely, even more so.  A number of you have been in contact with Jim and I regarding plans to list, sell, buy, or both and this will be a time that we put all of our plans on temporary hold – but we are still working.

Working From Home

In fact, this might be the best time ever to be in touch with us regarding your needs.  Jim and I are both finding more time to concentrate on planning, preparing, and following through on so many details that we sometimes struggle to find time for.  Please touch base with us, we will be delighted to hear from you.

Interest Rates

What’s happening with interest rates during this time? 

While we prefer to refer you to any number of great lenders in the area to inquire about interest rates, we were privileged to receive a very profound interest rate prediction from Steve Tedrow, our in-house lender here at Windermere.  This rate prediction was offered by the Chrisman Report amid the current interest rate volatility.

Keep Up-To-Date

Every Monday, Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner provides an update regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the US economy and housing market.

Thanks all. Stay home, stay healthy.

Bill Badgley and Jim Badgley