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Majority of Sellers Haven’t Reduced Listing Prices During Pandemic

By: Kim Shindle on in  | 

A majority of home sellers are holding steady in their home pricing despite the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 3 in 4 Realtors® currently working with sellers this week – 74% – reported their clients haven’t reduced listing prices to attract buyers, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors®. This suggests interested home sellers are remaining calm and avoiding panic selling during the uncertain economic environment brought about by the pandemic.

“Consumers are mostly abiding by stay-in-shelter directives, and it appears the current decline in buyer and seller activity is only temporary, with a majority ready to hit the market in a couple of months,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The housing market faced an inventory shortage before the pandemic. Given that there are even fewer new listings during the pandemic, home sellers are taking a calm approach and appear unwilling to lower prices to attract buyers during the temporary disruptions to the economy.”

Forty-four percent of members reported buyers are delaying their home purchase for a couple of months, while 22% stopped looking due to the concern of losing their job. Nine percent reported members are continuing the process, but only relying on virtual communication and 7% reported clients are deciding not to buy or sell indefinitely. Ten percent reported there is no change in client behavior.

“In those states with a strict lockdown, such as in Pennsylvania, there are additional postponements of consumer decisions as many aren’t completely comfortable making a major expenditure without a physical visit,”  Yun added.

NAR’s latest Economic Pulse Flash Survey – conducted April 19-20, 2020 – asked members how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the residential and commercial real estate markets. Several highlights include:

  • More than a quarter of Realtors® – 27% – said they were able to complete nearly all aspects of transactions while respecting social distancing. The most common technology tools used to communicate with clients are e-signatures, social media, messaging apps and virtual tours.
  • Residential tenants are facing rent payment issues, but many delayed payment requests are being accommodated. Forty-seven percent of property managers reported being able to accommodate tenants who cannot pay rent, a 6% increase from a week ago. Nearly a quarter of individual landlords – 24% – said the same, unchanged from last week.

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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