Unlike other industries, the coronavirus pandemic has not brought the local real estate market to a halt. In fact, it's just the opposite; many people are still house hunting, and they're finding prices continuing to rise.
“It’s demoralizing," said Danielle Festino of Wakefield. "You’re seeing these places go for way over asking.”
Festino says from a buyer’s perspective, real estate competition is fierce right now.
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She has been house hunting for the past couple of months after realizing during the COVID-19 pandemic that her apartment is smaller than it once seemed.
“The same room that I’m working in is the room where I’m eating, it’s the room where I’m working out, it’s all one space and I realize that if I’m going to be home for maybe at least a year, I need more space to spread out,” said Festino.
ERA Key Realtor Kathy Craig says, similar to Festino’s experience, many potential buyers have realized during the pandemic that they want to move closer to family, or they need to downsize, or upgrade.
“What happened with COVID is – people had dreams and it was time to stop putting the dreams off,” said Craig. “It was time to do something now because I think that there was a ‘life is short’ kind of feeling.”
Craig says right now it’s definitely a seller’s market.
That’s something first-time homebuyer Jane Kayiales and her husband have experienced over and over while searching for a 2-3 bedroom home on the South Shore.
Kayiales said, “We see it and then they already have eight offers on it so then we don’t feel like we want to put an offer in because of that, it’s scary.”
But Craig says with safety measures, like masks and time limits, in place at all open houses and appointments, she expects the market will begin to even itself out soon.
“The inventory is going to start picking up,” said Craig, “because sellers are going to feel more confident about putting their homes on the market.”
Craig says her best advice for buyers is: be ready to put in an offer quickly, but don’t talk yourself into a sale just because of the competition.