COVID19 Changes How Home Buying and Selling Gets Done

CHARLOTTE, NC – The seemingly endless upward trend of home prices in the Charlotte area may be hitting its peak. While indicators show a strong February market report, industry insiders say a slow down is likely to follow due to the COVID19 impact. 

North Carolina is also changing the way home buying is done by limiting in person contact.  The move creates yet another stress and obstacle for home buyers and sellers. 

“It’s scary. It’s already a stressful process,” said Brandi Rowell. 

Rowell, her husband and three children are planning to move from Virginia to the Charlotte area. 

“We’re all in. We’ve already talked to banks. Were ready to roll. We just need to find the house we love so we can get moving,” said Rowell. 

The already complicated process is now even more cumbersome because of COVID19 concerns. 

Due to local and state social distancing guidelines, you can’t just walk into homes anymore. The home showing process must be done virtually, even for a new construction. 

“It’s been a complete shift in the way that we have traditionally done business,” said Nelvia Bullock. 

Bullock is Rowell’s realtor. She says only people with money already down can go into a home. Inspectors and appraisers can also go inside. 

“So you’re going to get 40 to 75 page report that is highlighting major issues,” explained Bullock.

 Bullock says she is staying positive and adapting to the changes in stride. 

“I’m trying to be a voice of reason for my clients and help them navigate through these uncertain times,” said Bullock.

“I think we’re going to start to see a major impact,” said Ely Portillo. 

Portillo is with the UNC Charlotte Urban institute. He cautions that major market changes are about to be realized. 

Home prices increased a whopping 12 percent in February compared to the same time last year.  But the March report, due out next week,  may bring some sobering news. 

“A lot of the things that have been driving charlottes white hot real estate market are kind of grinding to a halt all at once,” said Portillo.

Still,  people like Rowell are determined to make the move as soon as possible. 

“No matter how you look at it it’s stressful and you just really have to believe in your agent and take some deep breaths every now and again,” said Rowell.