The article below from Worldwide ERC expands on this idea, noting that the industry has “performed surprisingly well and certainly better than anyone could have probably predicted.”
What’s allowed this to happen? The authors point out a few factors, including relatively strong economic conditions as we headed into 2020, which gave real estate some momentum to weather the early months of the pandemic in the U.S.
It also helps that 49 out of 50 states allow electronic document recording and 27 states (as of July) allow electronic notarization as part of the closing process, as the authors note. Many of these locations had these capabilities pre-pandemic, so they were already accustomed to processing transactions with one or more parties doing their part remotely. The pandemic has only heightened the interest in remote closing capabilities. Other parts of the real estate process have made a similar shift, such as with agents hosting virtual open houses.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2020 and into 2021, Kelly House, Plus’s manager of real estate services, said he expects the market to remain active for sellers due to low inventory, record low interest rates and pent up buyer demand. Usually the market sees a lull in the fall and winter months, he says, but it doesn’t look like that’ll be the case this year. Those relocating or simply looking to sell during this time will have better market conditions than in the past — though homebuyers will have to grapple with rising prices. Still, it’s encouraging to see so much activity, even as we all continue to contend with COVID-19.
Our industry has been fortunate to have fared well so far this year, certainly more so than other sectors of the economy. Whether it’s outside influences, our own preparedness or a combination of both, real estate has persevered through this pandemic. However, as a group we must continue to evolve and adapt.