August 22, 2020 at 10:57 am EDT | by Marin Hagen and Sylvia Bergstrom
COVID real estate — the new normal
COVID real estate
Masks, sanitizers, and other precautions have enabled real estate business to continue and to thrive in the D.C. market.

Despite the circumstances of this year, the D.C. Metro area real estate market has felt like it is our busiest in recent memory.

It seems that we are now in what we expected our spring market to be (delayed due to the virus shutdown), and July’s numbers prove this to be true. Typically, July is slower than June, but this year, sales increased 17% month over month, 20% in D.C. alone. July area home sales were at a 10-year best for the month. Median home prices in the area were up 13% compared to July 2019, and days on market (8) were at the lowest July level in 10 years, also the second shortest number of days on market overall in 10 years.

This market is great for both buyers and sellers, although for different reasons.

It is a great time to sell, with chronic low inventory and many people figuring out some new “must-haves” for their extended time at home. We’ve found that many sellers with second homes went to those homes early on in the shutdown, and have decided to stay there, rather than return to the city (whether that’s D.C., New York, or elsewhere). While moving during a pandemic didn’t seem possible at first, everyone has figured out how to safely manage the process. The current market is proving to also be a great time to buy, with historically low mortgage interest rates. Buyers are flocking to homes with more outdoor space, larger office areas, and to locations with proximity to outdoor access, including local parks.

Buyers, sellers, and agents have all figured out how to safely function (masks, gloves, sanitizers, and distancing are all mandatory) in our “new normal.” We continue to show property, hold open houses, and work diligently for our clients, it just looks different than it used to. Virtual showings, while initially employed more for health safety, are continuing to be used as a convenient tool for out-of-town buyers. These Facetime or Zoom showings allow buyers to preview property and get a sense of the area before taking time out of their busy schedules to go see it.

With title companies and lenders now allowing many virtual options, the teamwork that goes into a smooth real estate transaction is stronger than ever. As we continue to work and move forward, we also understand and acknowledge that safety is the first and foremost priority for everyone.

The entire Hagen-Bergstrom team wears masks throughout the day, and we provide gloves, sanitizer, and keep our distance while meeting our clients in person. This allows us to ensure safety while still maintaining that personal relationship that is crucial to a successful real estate transaction. We strive to make sure all our clients, and anyone else with whom we interact, feel safe in this new environment. Luckily, we have experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other leading medical specialists, to guide us through this global pandemic.

Sylvia Bergstrom has been a top-producing agent since launching her real estate career and Marin Hagen joined her mother’s successful practice in 2007. Their business is nearly 100% repeat and referral, a testament to their high ethical standards, strong negotiating skills, energy, and discretion. Sylvia and Marin consistently rank among Coldwell Banker’s top three Mid-Atlantic teams out of more than 2,000 agents.

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