For anyone who’s house hunting, things have gotten weird

The search for a home sweet home has gone sour.


April 13, 2020

Don’t move. That’s what the entire world is telling us right now.

But what if you have to, y’know, move? How in the name of corona is someone supposed to find a new place to live?

The search for a home sweet home has gone sour

Come springtime, home sales usually flourish. But this year, the coronavirus pandemic made the real-estate market wilt.

Zillow, the online real-estate company, released data last week showing that new home listings in the first week of April had fallen 27% from the same time a year ago. 

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Down the street at Redfin, the number of houses pulled from the market recently doubled. An analysis of real-estate data from around the country found that housing markets in Florida and New Jersey are among the most at risk to see coronavirus fallout.

Meet me in the parking lot

For those that are still selling, the process has morphed into weird routines that definitely DO NOT sound like black market arms deals:

  • A lawyer in Atlanta does business with masked-and-gloved borrowers in a parking garage, out of the trunk of his Mercedes.
  • One New Jersey realtor relies on drive-thru closings where paperwork is passed between car windows.

Many home showings are going virtual. The National Association of Realtors recommends that any taking place IRL use social-distancing practices (one prospective buyer in the house at a time, please). And cover up those shoes with booties, will ya?

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Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

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