April 2020 Update: Maryland Real Estate

Times are certainly unpredictable right now and our lives are disrupted. As part of this disruption many people are asking…What’s going on? And what’s expected to happen in the housing industry? Policies and practices have been changing frequently, so here is the latest update, effective April 9, 2020. Keep in mind, these are unprecedented times and the information that is available today could be different tomorrow.

The real estate industry, like most industries, has certainly been affected. Real estate is actually on the list of essential services because it involves housing. However, every day practices have changed. Physical offices are closed and many people are now working remotely, from home or another safe location.

When Should I Put My House in Maryland on the Market?

New listings are continuing to come on the market, although at a slower pace. Some homeowners are delaying putting their homes on the market and others have temporarily taken their homes off the market. Some areas are still seeing homes go under contract. In general, there has been a huge reduction in the number of houses going under contract in most areas in Maryland.

Having Trouble Paying the Mortgage on Your House in Maryland?

To those Maryland homeowners who might be having difficulty making their mortgage payments, please contact your loan servicer to see what can be done to provide you relief. Don’t just stop making payments, don’t assume you’ll be ok due to the halt in the foreclosure process. Your loan servicer is who you need to contact. Different loan servicers have different plans in place.

To Maryland homeowners who have been planning to list their house but are waiting for this to pass…Now is a great time to work on getting it prepared. That way, you’ll be ready when the current restrictions are lifted. To those homeowners who are closer to listing, know that virtual tours are currently paramount. Buyers look at houses online, and having a walkthrough video available for those buyers to view is extremely important. And, the more creative the video, the better the chances it will stand out from the others. Slide shows set to music no longer suffice, and are boring. To best market your house, you want to have a creative and engaging video tour for buyers to see. Something that will keep them watching all the way to the end, and not exiting at the half-way point. Here’s an example of a recent listing tour.

Maryland home buyer
Maryland home buyers are able to benefit from the low interest rates and a variety of loan programs

Thinking About Buying a House in Maryland?

To anyone who has been planning to buy a house in Maryland… Now is a great time to research lenders, because different lenders offer different types of loans, they aren’t all the same. It’s also a great time to monitor interest rates because they’ve been fluctuating, and most importantly, it’s a great time to select a lender, submit your documentation and be fully pre-approved. Those steps will make you 100% prepared when the current restrictions are lifted. It will give you the best chances of making an offer on a house and having your offer accepted. Why? Because most home sellers want to know you’re not just pre-qualified but that you’ve taken the extra steps to get pre-approved.

The Maryland Association of Realtors has determined that virtual tours is currently the preferred method to see the homes for sale. However, when necessary, houses can be seen in person under the following circumstances:

  • There are no more than 3 people in a house at one time
  • Social distancing is observed at all times
  • All in-person activities are by appointment only

What is Expected to Happen with Homes in Maryland?

When COVID-19 passes, real estate is expected to rebound, although likely not immediately. As the economy bounces back, so will housing, because everyone needs somewhere to live. Think of it like this… the typically busy spring market has been put on hold and will be playing catch-up. For now, the extremely low interest rates are causing houses to go under contact. For those persons who can qualify for a mortgage, they can currently get a lot for their money. Ultimately, we won’t know for sure what will happen until things do return to normal. So for now… stay safe, let’s keep doing what we’re doing to get rid of COVID-19, and feel free to reach out to Melissa, the local real estate expert, with any questions you might have.