WASHINGTON — Nearly one in four home sellers nationwide are changing how their home is viewed while the home remains on the market due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors. The changes include stopping open houses, requiring potential buyers to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, asking buyers to remove shoes or wear footies, or other changes.
The percentage of sellers adopting these and other changes climbs to 44% and 34%, respectively, in Washington State and California, two of the states hardest hit by coronavirus.
NAR’s Economic Pulse Flash Survey—conducted March 9-10, 2020—asked members questions about how the coronavirus outbreak, including the significant declines in stock market values and mortgage interest rates, has impacted home buyer and seller interest and behavior. Several highlights of the member survey include:
• 37% said lower mortgage rates excited home buyers much more than the stock market correction.
• Almost 8 out of 10 (78%) said there has been no change in buyer interest due to the coronavirus.
• 16% said buyer interest has decreased due to coronavirus, with members in California and Washington State citing larger decreases in buyer interest—21% and 19%, respectively.
• Nearly nine in 10 members (87%) said coronavirus has not affected the number of homes on the market.
• In Washington State and California, 5% and 4% of members, respectively, reported homes were removed from the market. That figure is 3% for members nationwide.