Inventory Remains Biggest Challenge for Agents

By Kelly Leighton | Aug. 7, 2020 | 2 min. read

With most people spending significantly more time in their homes in 2020, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the top reason people are looking to buy right now is because they need more space.

A survey of real estate agents by HomeLight showed that despite the pandemic, people are eager to buy. Forty-four percent of agents said their buyers are looking for more space in their new home, while 41% have renters looking to buy and 37% said their buyers are hoping to get out of a city and move to the suburbs. However, two-thirds of agents attribute the frenzy of buyers to pent-up demand from the impact of the pandemic in the spring.

Forty-three percent of agents said they think inventory will increase over the rest of 2020, while 33% believe it will remain steady. With low inventory, bidding wars may see an increase, and 60% of agents said they are seeing an increase already. More than half of agents (59%) said the biggest challenge for the real estate market this year is the lack of inventory compared to the demand, and 69% of agents said the biggest concern among their buyers is the lack of inventory. Among sellers’ agents, 40% said their clients are most concerned about getting the maximum value for their home, while 29% are worried about the risk of infection during home showings.

But agents are prepared to best serve their clients despite the unusual circumstances. Seventy-three percent said they ride in separate cars to showings, 71% have hand sanitizing stations, 70% are limiting the number of people per showing, 69% are providing masks and gloves and 58% are wiping down high-touch surfaces with disinfection. With a second wave forecasted, most agents believe the industry is better prepared. Forty-one percent expect business to slow, but not as much as the first, while 22% believe business will remain the same.

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