I wrote about the rise of “iBuyers” in the first half of March, which seems like ages ago due to everything that’s changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. And one of those changes is now happening in the iBuyer market.
A number of iBuyers (short for “instant buyers”) have been pressing pause due to health and safety concerns. While part of the iBuying process generally happens virtually, these buyers do still send human inspectors to a property.
There’s also the issue of how iBuyers could even hope to make reasonable offers given the economic uncertainty the pandemic has triggered. “With whole cities shutting down nearly all commerce, no one can say what a fair price is right now, so we’re not making any instant offers,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said.
While this is certainly a dent in the overall U.S. housing market, there are signs that some real estate activity has been able to continue. In instances where real estate activity has moved forward, agents are being creative with things such as virtual showings as they adhere to local social distancing guidelines.
For the seller, this means no staging, no open houses and no need to wait on the buyer to get their affairs in order. But what happens to the seller when iBuyers suddenly stop buying? Over the past few weeks, iBuyers across the board have been pressing pause on the service, citing coronavirus concerns.