Selling your house in Gainesville during the pandemic is not a scenario that anyone could have imagined just a few short months ago.
Yet here we are.
Coronavirus breezed into the Gainesville real estate market in March just as the spring selling season was ramping up.
Many homeowners who had waited until spring to list their homes held back, wondering if they'd be able to sell their homes.
The worry is understandable. We are living in extraordinary times.
We thought it might be helpful to provide you with a 30,000 foot view of where our Gainesville real estate market is right now by answering some frequently asked questions.
Yes. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, homes are still selling in Gainesville, FL.
Even before we came into our spring season in 2020, Gainesville's housing market was already tight due to low inventory.
In their most recent market report, Florida Realtors reported there was a 2.9 month supply of housing inventory in April in Alachua County. So far this year Alachua County is averaging a 3 month supply of homes for sale.
What does this mean?
A balanced real estate market (evenly favorable to both buyers and sellers) is considered to be when there is 5.5 months of inventory. When a real estate market has more than 5.5 months of inventory, the market is more favorable for home buyers because it means there are a lot more houses for sale than there are people to buy them.
At a reported 2.9 months of housing inventory, the Gainesville and Alachua County real estate market is a very strong sellers market (buyers have fewer houses to choose from). In a seller's market, home buyers may fight over the same house, resulting in multiple offer situations. Generally speaking, homeowners receive closer to their asking price (when house is priced to market) in a strong seller's market.
Number of homes sold down; home prices up
There were 16.2% fewer single-family homes sold in Alachua County in April 2020 compared to a year ago.
Median sale price increased 1.9% in April when compared to a year ago, from $241,500 to $246,000.
Homes priced between $150,000-$399,999 comprised the bulk of home sales in Gainesville and Alachua County during April.
With the exception of the $300,000-$399,999 price point, housing inventory levels continued to drop across the board during the month of April.
Gainesville home sales for May: Preliminary figures
Virtual and public open houses
The home selling process has largely gone virtual in this age of social distancing. Public open houses were strongly discouraged by the Florida Surgeon general for several months to limit personal contact. Photos, videos, virtual tours, and more helped to reduce needless in-person showings.
With coronavirus restrictions easing, public open houses were recently reinstated with the guidance of the Florida Surgeon General. Even though public open houses are allowed, Florida Realtors and Gainesville-Alachua County Association of Realtors still strongly encourage that virtual open houses be held in lieu of public open houses whenever possible.
Holding a public open house is a joint decision that must be made by both the homeowner and their Realtor.
Whether for in-person showings or public open houses, homes must be cleaned following CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting of households. These guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contain a lot of helpful information, including how to clean various surfaces as well as recommended products to use.
If you have been thinking of selling your house, we hope that you have found this information helpful. Your Realtor will provide you with even more detailed information specific to your needs and timeline as you work together to create a marketing plan for your home.