Dear Agents,

I just wanted to quickly connect with you in this uncertain time. I don’t have any advice regarding the Coronavirus, but I want to share what I’m seeing on the front lines of equine real estate sales by chatting with lots of you wonderful realtors from all over the US and Canada.

In the first days of the lockdown and social distancing I honestly just freaked out and thought it will be another 2008 crisis. Buyers won’t look at properties, sales will dry up, the real estate market will collapse. And I’m still fearful of the repeat of those horrible two years. (In Texas, the storm Harvey was even worse I’ve heard.) But in the meantime, I made a surprise discovery; people are still searching our website! In fact, we actually have a slightly higher search volume. These are, of course, partially looky-loos or virtual tire kickers, but not all of them. And I do hear from agents who are still selling.

I get the feeling that people are not necessarily going out to buy right now, but they are getting their ducks in a row. They are looking and dreaming about what is possible. Where are nice properties, where can I afford a piece of heaven? Some, I’ve heard, have now decided that they want to change their life, after all, and move to the countryside.

As you are very much aware, every buyer’s situation is different. I want to share a part of my life: For professional reasons, our son has to relocate from Atlanta in June. While never an easy task, he and his wife had a baby just 2 weeks ago (which we haven’t seen yet!) and have a dog, too. But they are looking for a house to buy because this young family has no choice. And so are many others.So, in case you’re feeling frustrated and hopeless, don’t give up. Potential buyers are out there and just waiting to get out of the lock-down and buy a new house. Stay well and hang in there!


Barbara Greenhill, CEO

P.S.: The Washington Post ran a story on March 30, “With hand sanitizer and elbow bumps, real estate agents are still selling during the pandemic…Coronavirus hasn’t stopped open houses, in-house inspections, and in-person closings.” Here are some excerpts from the article:

“It’s very, very surreal,” said Joe Gentile, president of Federal Title & Escrow. “We still have people sending us contracts and buying homes despite what’s going on.”
And sheltering in place could have an unexpected benefit to the housing market.
“Now more than ever you realize what your house is like, some of the things are great and some of the things are not so great,” said Jeff Kottmeier, a market research adviser for John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “People are spending a lot more time in their houses and thinking, ‘Okay, if I can trade up for something newer, something bigger, something different, there’s that possibility.’ They are saying they want a new home and they start looking online.”
Real estate agents are turning to technology to replace the in-person experience. The number of 3-D home tours created on Zillow went up
326 percent on March 20. Matt McCormick of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is offering virtual showings of his listings using FaceTime. Dana Rice of Compass uses Facebook Live. Her team also showed five to seven properties in person last week, mostly vacant homes.
“It’s certainly not a typical spring housing market. However, we continue to be insanely busy because in these uncertain times, clients want to talk through all of their options,” she said. “My phone is ringing off the hook and there is no shortage of options if clients are still feeling motivated to buy or sell a house. We continue to conduct virtual open houses on Facebook Live. We are accepting offers on listings.” Some buyers who have been frustrated by a lack of properties for sale are throwing caution aside in hopes of snagging a home while other buyers are sidelined.


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