E&V: Hello Mrs Holmes, how have the last few months been?
J.H.: The first couple of months of lockdown were the most difficult with my husband being a Barber his business was affected greatly. Our children never went back to school after Spring Break and the Shop that I office out of was closed for a time as well. This made it challenging to work from home as there were five of us at home all the time. There were questions surrounding how closings for purchases under contract would be handled. Additionally there were delays throughout the industry getting files processed with title companies, completing inspections and appraisals. Other than working from home with a full house, I have exceeded my goals for the year by the 3rd quarter and added additional team members.
E&V: How has Corona changed the way you work?
J.H.: The impact of the Corona Virus on the way that I work has transitioned from the initial meeting being online to more of the process conducted remotely with those seeking to become homeowners and sell their homes.
E&V: How have you responded to the new challenges?
J.H.: Due to having a significant amount of relocation clients there were certain things I was used to doing remotely. I have always utilized digital tools with my listings such as the 3D virtual tours and videos.
E&V: What helped you getting through these times?
J.H.: The fact that I truly enjoy spending time with my family was helpful. We eat dinner together each night and spend a lot of time together in general so it didn't feel abnormal. Our broker made sure to have update meetings online everyday! This kept me in touch with what the latest restrictions and guidelines were and how we could best operate within them. She even had advisors from other markets on our calls so that we could have a wide lense of things that were happening nationally and internationally.
E&V: How has customer behaviour changed?
J.H.: With people being confined to their homes and I believe that made it more difficult to overlook the shortcomings and gave them time to decide what would really make a home functional for their life. I have definitely noticed an increase in buyer activity since the pandemic. Naturally increased buyer activity results in homeowners wanting to sell and upgrade if possible. Potential homeowners are more decisive about the properties they want to view and on average are viewing less homes before deciding on the one.
E&V: What specific effects has Corona had on the real estate market in Southlake, Texas?
J.H.: Everyone seems to have the same great idea right now, and there are often multiple offers on a property and the offers are frequently over the asking price. In our market currently 1 in 5 homes purchased is new construction, the preference seems to be growing for a home that no one else has lived in before.
E&V: Is it worth thinking about selling or buying a property at all at the moment?
J.H.: Now is always a good time to buy or sell a home, this is because the decision to own or sell a home is truly based on the individual circumstances. There are those that are equity rich and have lost their income due to being let go from their employer. Selling now while interest rates are low and the market is setting record numbers, utilizing that equity to stay financially stable until they find suitable employment may be the best option. Super low interest rates also help those who may have been looking to own a new property but had concerns about the payments feel more at ease with making a purchase. Then there are a large number of people who are now able to work from home permanently. Many of those that are in states where owning a home is challenging due to pricing are able to move to states where housing is more affordable like Texas!
E&V: What do you expect for your property market in the future?
J.H.: I don't think anyone knows what to expect in the real estate market ever. The majority of people were convinced the housing market would crash due to the pandemic, and yet it has had quite the opposite effect setting records month after month. I do know that whatever happens in the market I have the tools and resources to guide my clients to make the best decisions for their personal circumstances.
E&V: Thank you for the interview.
Are you interested in the attractive opportunities offered by the USA as a real estate location? Then you are welcome to contact Jennifer D. Holmes and her team at Engel & Völkers Southlake, Dallas - either online or directly on site in the shop.
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