COVID-19 and the real estate market
We know you’ve grown to love Oklahoma City; and if you haven’t already, you might be looking at investing in a home. The Better Life sat down with Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors President J.T. Brown to see what the real estate market looks like now. Learn more about the Oklahoma City metro’s neighborhoods by visiting abetterlifeokc.com/neighborhoods/.
Should I buy a house now?
Although it may not seem like it during a pandemic, now is actually a great time to consider buying a home. Many sellers without a deadline have decided to put their listings off until the summer or when things return to normal. This means homes which are on the market probably have motivated sellers, and they are more likely to negotiate on purchase price, repairs and other items. It's a unique opportunity for buyers. From what I've seen, houses are still selling in Oklahoma City.
How can people sell homes in a time of social distancing?
While real estate and leasing services are categorized as essential businesses, the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors strongly encourages virtual showings in order to limit in-person activity during the homebuying process. In fact, our members now have the option to link virtual open houses on the Multiple Listing Services, or MLS. Other common tech tools used by Realtors are e-signatures, social media and messaging apps. Buyers have purchased homes “sight unseen” long before this pandemic, and buying a home has never been easier with the help of a licensed Realtor, even if you can’t meet in person.
How hard has social distancing been on Realtors?
Many Realtors are outgoing and extroverted, so they have had to adjust. Regardless of personality, Realtors want to help their clients, and we can still do so. Fortunately, many were equipped to work outside of an office setting, so the transition has not been difficult.
With low mortgage rates, is now a good time to refinance?
I can’t speak for everyone when it comes to refinancing. However, it is worth taking the time to do your research and see if refinancing makes sense. Many homeowners are considering refinancing to reduce monthly payments and increase cash flow. In the 4th quarter of 2019, the value of a typical home in the Oklahoma County area was estimated to be valued at $166,412. Assuming a 10% down payment, a 4% mortgage rate would make monthly payments approximately $715, while a 3% mortgage rate would make monthly payments approximately $631. That would be savings of just over $1,000 a year, which is significant for many families.