ST. LOUIS — Local real estate agent Linda Boehmer of the Boehmer Team was curious to see how open houses would fare this weekend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What she discovered was that, for the most part, they continued on as usual.
For Matt Bruns, managing broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties South County, the weekend was typical as well.
“This past weekend, many open houses in the area were very busy, with some having more than 30 different buyer groups/families coming through,” he said in an email.
But as the U.S. records more coronavirus cases and social gathering guidelines become more stringent, local agents are bracing for a deeper impact on the residential real estate market.
“I think that it hasn’t taken a huge toll. Now, today’s the first day that schools are out and I think it’s inevitable (that) we’re going to see a little bit of a slowdown,” Boehmer said Monday.
A potential slowdown in the residential real estate industry comes as agents navigate the spring, the busiest time of the year. That means what was expected to be a boom for local agencies could turn into a slump.
“To this point, the impacts to the market are minimal but I think it's fair to say we now are anticipating a slight slow down for the spring market. Prior to the outbreak, we were seeing a pretty robust market so right now our feeling is that this may balance us out back to the usual pace and even create a dip,” Joe Farmer, chief operating officer of Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty (DSIR), said on Friday.
As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads in the U.S., agents say they are fielding a number of questions from sellers about what the pandemic might mean for their home listing. Some are hesitant to let others into their homes for showings, the Boehmer Team of BHHS Select STL said, adding it is taking precautions such as avoiding handshakes and adding hand sanitizer during open houses.
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