Before the physical and financial impacts of COVID-19 hit the US, the real estate community was feeling the effects of a housing stock that was both aging and failing to meet demand. As a result, interest rates and inventory were low, and it was a buyer’s dream market.

The promise of a busy spring market was just around the corner.  

Buyers were ready to take advantage of low interest rates. Sellers were preparing to sell their homes and move on.

Then, with the onset of the effects of COVID-19, the promise of a busy spring market disappeared suddenly—along with the stability and safety that many of us had worked so hard to achieve.

With the real estate market still very much on pause, anxiety has set in. Many of us are seeking any ounce of stability we can find and, as a result, Realtor®s, homeowners, and aspiring homeowners are left wondering:

What will happen post-pandemic? What will inventory look like, and how will it affect the real estate market?

Housing stock before and after COVID-19

Let’s start, first, by rewinding and taking a look at what housing stock looked like before our spring market was put on hold.

  • In February 2020, homes spent 18% fewer days on the market (compared to February 2019) and agents reported low inventory as a major influencer of the real estate market.
  • 80% of the current housing stock is at least 20 years old, and 40% is at least 50 years old.
  • Both low inventory and aging homes came as a result of new construction failing to keep up with demand.

After the quarantine is lifted, inventory will remain dated and low, relative to overall demand. The difference will be the number of homes that will hit the market at once.

Sellers who had been waiting for spring, as well as those who are now in need of cash or more space will be eager to sell when they sense even a sliver of economic stability. Buyers will emerge—still cautious—but excited to start or continue their search for the perfect home.

When Lawrence Yun (Chief Economist, NAR) spoke about market conditions at the beginning of the pandemic, he said:

The temporary softening of the real estate market will likely be followed by a strong rebound once the economic ‘quarantine’ is lifted, and it’s critical that supply is sufficient to meet pent-up demand.

The market will rebound, but what does that mean for sellers?

If you ask real estate agents what to call a home that’s been on the market for a while, many will say “overpriced.” Even with a surge in supply after the quarantine is lifted, if a home is priced right, it will sell. But what if your client could make another $50k in profit renovating before listing?

Especially now, with such a high number of people struggling with financial hardships as a result of the pandemic, home sellers getting as much equity out of their home as possible is critical.

With Curbio’s pre-sale renovations, sellers can forego the stresses and risks that come with renovating. They’ll make more money off of the sale of their home and be able to move on more comfortably. And the agent who introduced them to Curbio? They’ll be seeing a lot more referrals.

Buyer preferences have not changed

With a surge in supply for what remains of the summer market, sellers will need to compete to get the full value from the sales of their homes. That means they need to ensure they’re meeting buyer demand for move-in ready properties.

Looking at properties online is the first step in the home search process for many buyers—especially during the pandemic. This means that every property needs to be Instagram-worthy in order to attract the broadest possible audience. This was true before COVID-19, and with the threat of the virus still out there, it will remain truer now more than ever.

Pre-sale renovations are more important than ever

Competition will be high amongst sellers when the market rebounds, and buyers will be looking for move-in ready properties. Pre-sale home renovations that emphasize smart, buyer focused renovations will ensure you sell for more, and faster during the summer surge.

Curbio’s pre-sale renovations are not like traditional renovations, and instead are designed to maximize return on investment, which is crucial when sellers need more cash the most. Think about the way a traditional renovation company works: They make more money if the scope of work expands, so they have no reason to discourage homeowners from investing in renovations that won’t impact the value of their home. They may be working on various projects at once and will prioritize the higher value projects without worrying about the homeowner’s timeline.

Our renovations also decrease both time spent on renovations and on market. We achieve all of this by making smart, buyer-focused design decisions that help save time and money.

We work with local Realtor®s to tailor the renovation to each city, neighborhood, and home. And since we don’t get paid until closing, we have no incentive to encourage needless renovations that will delay time to market or that won’t result in a faster sale.

We’ve made changes to our process to ensure our renovations completely contact-free. That means sellers can renovate now, while social distancing and keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Working with Curbio now on pre-sale renovations will help you list higher and sell faster. Ready to get started?

Learn about our no-contact renovations.