Virginia REALTORS® has conducted a weekly survey of members since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, asking members if and how the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted home buyer and seller interest and behavior. This week’s survey, conducted April 24th and 25th, gathered additional information about how COVID-19 is affecting how REALTORS® conduct business. We received responses from 1,421 Virginia REALTORS® across the Commonwealth.
Highlights from the survey of Virginia REALTORS® members include:
- About 13% of Virginia REALTORS® say that they have had a seller remove his or her home completely from the market. In addition, 45.3% of REALTORS® say that they are postponing bringing new listings to the market. These shares are comparable to the shares reported two weeks ago during our April 10-11 member survey.
- On the buyer side, more than half of Virginia REALTORS® (51.4%) say they have had a buyer postpone his or her home search. This share is down from prior weeks’ surveys.
- More REALTORS® are reporting price impacts this week. Fifteen percent of REALTORS® say they had a seller reducing the list price in order to attract buyers, up from 12.1% two weeks ago. In addition, 34.6% of REALTORS® say that buyers are expecting lower prices, which is up from 28.7% two weeks ago.
As part of this week’s survey, we asked Virginia REALTORS® how COVID-19 has affected the ways in which they conduct business. We are able to compare these results with the results from the most recent national survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®.
In general, the findings from these surveys suggest that Virginia REALTORS® are taking the required precautions to conduct business and are having a somewhat easier time completing transactions under state-mandated social distancing requirements than are REALTORS® in some other parts of the country.
- Nearly 60% of Virginia REALTORS® say that some aspects of their real estate transactions still require person-to-person interactions, though masks and gloves are being worn to reduce risks.
- One in five Virginia REALTORS® (20%) say that they are conducting all aspects of transactions through virtual means.
- While Virginia has a stay-at-home order in place, the impact on REALTORS® here does not seem to be as great as it has been in other places. Just 7% of Virginia REALTORS® say that the government stay-at-home mandate is making it nearly impossible to get deals done, compared to 18% of REALTORS® nationwide.
Use of Technology
The use of different types of technology has become essential to conducting business under social distancing requirements. Virginia REALTORS® indicate that they use a wide range of technology tools to communicate with existing and prospective clients.
- Nearly two-thirds (63.1%) report that they use social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, to communicate with existing clients and/or to cultivate new relationships. More than two in five (40.9%) using messaging apps.
- More than half (50.3%) have been using Zoom, WebEx, or some other video meeting software.
- With in-person showings becoming more challenging, nearly half (46.6%) of Virginia REALTORS® say they are using virtual tours.
- While E-signatures are common (70.1%), far fewer Virginia REALTORS® report using E-closing technology (20.3%) during transactions.
A note about surveys: This is not a randomized sample survey of Virginia REALTORS® members. However, the number of responses and the geographic coverage of respondents make it possible to make inferences about the population of Virginia REALTORS®, with a certain level of confidence. The statistics from this survey have a margin of error of +/- 3%.
Virginia REALTORS® will continue to monitor the economic and housing market impacts of COVID-19 in Virginia. Please check the COVID-19 page on the Virginia REALTORS® website for updates. In addition, each Thursday afternoon at 4:00 pm we will host a Facebook Live on the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the housing market. For more information, please contact Lisa Sturtevant (firstname.lastname@example.org).