Is now a good time to be selling your home on Oahu? During the COVID-19 pandemic? Many people have been wondering and asking me this question. A few weeks or even a month ago, I might have said no, mainly because we did not know what to expect, and the social distancing guidelines were new and a little scary.
Now, I would say YES, it is a good time to sell a home on Oahu, if you do need to sell. Why is that?
Because Most Escrows are Staying Together.
I have personally seen what has been going on over March and April with many of my own buyers and sellers, in escrow and out. The transactions have had some serious ups and downs, but were resolvable and all (so far) have closed (knock on wood). I’ve heard stories of some unsuccessful transactions, unfortunately, but I think those are in the minority. Some may have been unavoidable due to loss of jobs or financing, but some may also have lacked creative problem solving and may have been saved.
I also think that the shock and scariness of the pandemic is wearing off a bit in Hawaii, as we adjust to the “new normal.” Everyone I’ve been involved within the real estate industry has been careful and very professional in observing social distancing guidelines. We’ve pretty much got the process down, and it is working. We are continuing to close sales as Hawaii continues to flatten the curve.
Because There are More Buyers Than Expected.
From what I have seen, serious buyers are still out. And there are MANY serious buyers. A lot more than I expected. In the past week alone, my personal Internet buyer inquiries have increased four-fold. Past clients are also contacting me with renewed interest in buying. The buyers I had that were looking are still looking. A few are already in escrow or closed. COVID-19 has not erased most people’s need to find a home. Many other buyers think now is a good time to buy because there may be deals. Whether there will be many deals remains to be seen. So far, I have not seen more than a few drastic price drops or great deals. In certain areas there are still multiple offers. However, that may change as the economy changes.
Because Inventory is Still Low.
Many owner-occupied homes were pulled off the market in April due to COVID. Some owners are waiting. Even some that are on the market just aren’t showing. So there are listings showing as Active in MLS, which are not operating as Active. That makes it seem like there are more properties available than there really are. The really great homes in the most desirable areas are still going relatively quickly. West side (Ewa Beach and Kapolei), as one example. This is especially true for remodeled, turn-key properties, properties in the most favorite areas, or those with amenities people really like, such as solar panels.
Because Interest Rates are Still Low.
Mortgage rates hit an all-time low in March 2020. The result was many more people looking to purchase or refinance their homes, right then. Many of those people are still out looking. Interest rates are still very low, and many buyers just haven’t found the right property to take advantage of the low rates. In one article I read, just less than half of the experts think rates will go lower than they are now and about the same number think rates will stay about the same in the next few months. With these low rates, Sellers who can make their home stand out to the buyers who are looking are in a good position right now.
Because You Can Call Me to Help.
If you are thinking of selling your Oahu now, please contact me. I can work with you to position your home to really stand out and obtain the highest price, given the market situation.
Connect With Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn, Esq. (B)