The Chicago Real Estate Minute

Latest on COVID-19 effects on Chicago real estate transactions

4 minute read

The coro­n­avirus-19 pandemic is under­stand­ably on everyone’s minds. You are likely seeing email messages from all sorts of different busi­ness­es letting you know what they’re doing on your behalf. Perhaps you’ve even received a generic message from other realtors (written by their company’s marketing depart­ment, probably somewhere out of state) sharing a similar message. I’m taking a different approach, as I want to give you the “real deal” review of how real estate is being affected locally, right here in Chicago.

Indeed, the coro­n­avirus is an unprece­dent­ed health situation that should be taken very seriously. Fear is a driver, no doubt —financial fears, health fears, survival fears— basic human nature type stuff. It’s real, and people deserve to under­stand how it affects them. If the powers that be decide that­ev­ery­one needs to self-quar­an­tine, then by all means we should do so. The San Francisco Bay Area has been ordered to “shelter in place”, so it could very well happen here too.

That said, I wanted to give you the “boots on the ground”, accurate and timely view of what I have been seeing with my own clients. Just since the moment when Illinois schools were ordered closed late last week: One of our prop­er­ties received multiple offers and sold above list price; another held an open house where a dozen different groups came through; and yesterday two offers came in on two different prop­er­ties of ours.

We’ve also had several sets of buyers looking at homes and some con­sid­er­ing making offers. Bottom line: People have still been buying and selling homes. The market has not slowed as far as I have seen, not one bit.

Don’t just take my word for it. As a normal business practice, I check with other real estate-related busi­ness­es to get their input on what they are seeing happen. These include inspec­tors, real estate attorneys, and lenders. Here’s what people I talked with yesterday (March 16) said:

  • Inspector: “I had a crazy week last week and am already almost booked up for this week.”
  • Attorneys: “Very busy today, and I was last week as well” … “No slow down here!”
  • Lenders: “Busier than I’ve ever been.”

Interest rates are the lowest they’ve ever been, and that is a big driver. Credit is still out there and flowing freely, and there are no signs that will subside. The few things that are constants in real estate are that people still need to buy and sell, and as long as they feel com­fort­able doing so, they will. To this point from where I stand, they have been com­fort­able doing so. The situation can change at any time, and we all should pay close attention to what’s going on and do what we per­son­al­ly feel is safe and best for us to do. Personal hygiene and social dis­tanc­ing should remain imper­a­tive for everyone, whether at an open house or doing anything else normally asso­ci­at­ed with real estate.

My job is to interpret what’s going on in real estate, to be the knowl­edge­able, ethical voice for my clients. I’m here to guide you and help you make fact-based, researched decisions if you need to sell your home (or buy one), since life must go on for those in sit­u­a­tions who need or want to move. That may be you, or someone you know. Call my cell at 773 – 620-4444 or email me at any time.

Providing infor­ma­tion and solving problems is what I do. I’m here to help.

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