Covid-19 will impact the Atlanta real estate market. Impact it, not crash it…let’s all breath for a second. The world is connected and this is a hit on the global economy, the only questions are for how bad and for how long? The real estate hit is unknown at this point, but with over three full time decades of selling and appraising real estate I’ve been in more than a few rough spots. That experience is an asset for my clients, as is the tremendous group of peers that I work with at Ansley Atlanta Real Estate. These are the best of the best, most skilled and productive brokers and agents in Atlanta. I’m also in daily contact with my long seasoned mortgage folks and chat regularly with appraisers I know; we all seem the have the same broad expectations. Embrace the suck, buckle your chin straps and keep going.
The Impact of Covid-19 on the Atlanta Real Estate Market
A hit from a stun gun is the best description for the current real estate market. In the span of three weeks, the economy literally shut down. The mortgage market had one day moves never before seen and the Fed pumped 6 TRILLION into the mix between buy backs and relief packages. Buyers and sellers are rightfully dazed and it’s all hands on deck with the medical folks. Every aspect of the life we were leading a month ago has changed. Both the virus and the economic turmoil will be resolved; we have the greatest medical folks in the world and we are the economic engine for the globe. We all took a pop, we need to get up and get back into the mix in a calm and reasoned manner.
What to Expect in the Atlanta Real Estate Market after Covid-19
The real estate market functions like every other market; in cycles. Predictability is a friend, uncertainty is the enemy. The economic conditions drive real estate and to a large extent, real estate drives a big portion of the economy; the two are inextricably intertwined. Interest rates are expected to remain low, likely mid 3% to 4%. Unemployment will temporarily skyrocket but will/should be offset with stimulus packages intended to get as many companies back operational as soon as possible. That’s relative as this damage is wide spread; my thought is the 2nd quarter will be rough, 3rd a slight bit better and by the early fall of 2020 we should find stability. Of course the election adds another wild card into the mix. All that said, I think by the later part of 2020 we’ll be headed back in the right direction.
Selling a Home in Atlanta after Covid-19
This isn’t a repeat of the crash a decade ago. Banks and lenders are strong, the Fed is immediately involved. This will be ugly but expectations are for a “sharp V” recovery. Rates are still great, the bailout will be unprecedented and firm footing by the 4th Qtr of 2020 is expected. Embrace the suck.
Not every part of the greater Atlanta market was a seller’s market before Covid-19, so the fundamental rules of success remain in place. Price, appeal and exposure must align to successfully sell a home. Buyers will likely gain the advantage, how they find and preview homes will change a bit as well. On line marketing and research has literally exploded; photos, narratives, video…buyers are flocking to real estate portals like never before. Buyer use of the internet and social media has increased even more and while it may ease up down the road, it’s going to remain one of the most important ways to reach buyers. Post Covid-19, home sellers in the Atlanta real estate market should
- Adjust expectations and ensure they are realistic
- Identify the most likely buyer
- Understand the competing market since the impact of the virus, roughly March of 2020
- Ensure the home is well and broadly presented ON LINE – now more than ever
- Work only with seasoned professionals – now more than ever
Buying a Home in Atlanta after Covid-19
As with sellers, buyers must understand trends in their desired market area. We don’t expect anything like the last crash when it comes to bargains. We do expect to find some and we will squeeze both builders and sellers to secure the best deal for our buyers. It’s expected that we will have buyers controlling the majority of markets for the next couple of months. Post Covid-19, home buyers in the Atlanta real estate market should
- Have clear and defined objectives for area, price and type of home
- Have a preapproval or proof of funds ready to go
- Understand that while bargains may be found, a full price melt down is unlikely
- Exercise fiscal caution; understand trends in the desired market
- Work only with seasoned professionals – now more than ever
The Real Estate Business in Atlanta after Covid-19
This virus will test many recent business models entering the Atlanta housing market over the bull run. The most glaring segment are “IBuyers – instant offer” home buyers like Zillow, Opendoor, Offerpad and more. These firms have suspended operation during this time; they do not appear prepared to function in anything but a robust market. I wouldn’t bet against Zillow; I expect they will be the only iBuyer left after this slowdown. “New approach” firms like Compass came into Atlanta; they rely on ideas like “concierge services” and seek to differentiate themselves from conventional firms. Compass started layoffs in January and just announced significant staff cuts.
Smaller “boutique” firms are already reading the writing on the wall and evaluating options. The half-assed investors and flippers are wobbling already; no margins and none/little experience as they start to already circle the drain. Many of the hack agents are staring at dead phones; hopefully we get a much needed culling of the herd and lose them. There will be challenges, opportunity and change.
We’ll continue to hammer the point home, buying and selling a home is not like buying a book. Real estate agents in Georgia handle every aspect of the process; a seasoned professional is the best asset. This is not rocket science, the idea of reinventing the mousetrap can be appealing but when things hit the wall it seems that the basic, spring loaded wooden model continues to function.
We’re here for any questions, concerns or for whatever help might be needed. The Hank Miller Team and Ansley Atlanta offers deeper, broader real estate experience and candor than anyone, anywhere. Give us a call – we’re working….what the hell else would we be doing?