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Inventory Remains Biggest Challenge for Agents

By: Kelly Leighton on in

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.

Buyers Still Motivated, Despite Pandemic Challenges

“Home is more important than ever before, and ownership has become a key priority for many, particularly those who have never bought a home before,” said D. Steve Boland, president of retail at Bank of America. “Owning a home has historically helped families create a legacy and enabled them to build long-term wealth.”

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Is the Pandemic Driving More People to the Suburbs?

“We see lingering effects of the coronavirus on shopping behavior and preferences. In the Northeast, especially, people are now as likely as before the pandemic to be looking for a home in a market that’s not where they currently live. However, those looking elsewhere are much more likely to be looking in smaller, nearby markets,” said® Chief Economist Danielle Hale.

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Comments (2)


  • RUTH A. KILLIAN   August 7, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Challenging for us as agents.

    Reply to RUTH A. KILLIAN
  • William D. Smulick   August 7, 2020 at 10:13 am

    The low interest rates are a key element in the market. Many buyers and sellers realize now is the time to make a move before reality sets in

    Reply to William D. Smulick

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