Homeowners Are Preparing to List After the Pandemic

May 7, 2020

Real estate professionals report that about 77% of potential sellers are preparing to sell their homes once stay-at-home orders from the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted, according to a newly released survey from the National Association of REALTORS®. More than half of REALTORS® report their clients are taking on do-it-yourself home improvement projects in preparation, too.

“After a pause, home sellers are gearing up to list their properties with the reopening of the economy,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.”

NAR conducted an Economic Pulse Flash Survey May 3-4 and asked about 2,500 members how the coronavirus has been affecting their real estate business.

Home buyers are gradually re-emerging, but the pandemic has shifted some of their housing preferences, according to the results. Five percent of REALTORS® report that their clients have changed their neighborhood preferences from urban to suburban due to the pandemic. Also, one in eight REALTORS® surveyed say that buyers have changed at least one home feature that’s important to them since the COVID-19 pandemic. The most common features identified are home offices, yard space for exercising or growing food, and more space to accommodate their family.

But home buyers in search of a big bargain may not find one. Nearly 75% of REALTORS® report that their sellers have not reduced listing prices to attract buyers. Housing inventories are near record lows and that reduced competition may be prompting more sellers to stand firm on their home prices.

View NAR’s weekly housing market monitor.