By Linda Bausch
To say we are living in interesting times would be an understatement of colossal proportion. In the midst of a global pandemic, the ease with which we had conducted everyday transactions has become a challenge for even the most basic of tasks – shopping for groceries, working from home without the familiar surroundings of ‘the office’, educating our children, just to name a few. Imagine the thought of buying or selling a home during the uncharted times we now face.
Reasons for making a move into or out of the Valley won’t disappear because times are inconvenient. The need for a move won’t evaporate because things are different now, or more difficult. People still need to relocate for work, they may wish to seek the comfort of a more rural, less congested location, or a family outgrew their current living situation; downsizing may be in the cards, or my favorite reason – to buy a first – or forever home.
We contacted a few local Realtors for insight and perspective on their recent experience and update how things are going since what we knew as ‘normal’ is out the window. Adapting to the requirements and restrictions placed on the market is not only possible, but imperative to support those who chose to move forward with their plans to buy or sell a home or other property in the near future.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Drysdale Properties
“Even in these unprecedented times it’s an excellent time to be buying or selling a home. Buyers can shop online for homes through virtual tours, and mortgage rates are at an all-time low. Sellers are benefiting because the inventory of available homes is low and the transaction is completely handled electronically.”
Karen S. Cherniss Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley
“The Napa Valley real estate market is rolling with the punches, and activity is happening – on both the buy and the sell sides – albeit with mutual cooperation of agents, buyers and sellers, and affiliates such as appraisers, home inspectors, stagers, etc. Some home sellers are even experiencing multiple offers.”
Terra Firma Global Partners
“The Real Estate market is very busy as we are meeting with clients virtually and we can meet in person with proper protocol. Sellers that planned to sell this year are still moving forward. Some buyers are cautious but low interest rates are helping buyers buy and well-priced properties continue to do well.”
Compass Real Estate
“Our local market has most definitely been impacted. In spite of everything, we have seen many properties go into contract with multiple offers and at over asking price. For sellers, the trick is to trust the real estate agent’s expertise and to price strategically. Restrictions for showing property have inspired our industry to move toward digital methods to sell homes. Advanced technology provides platforms such as social media, 3D tours, and virtual staging to market properties. Looking forward, we expect that interest rates will remain at historical lows for the remainder of 2020. As the SIP is lifted, I believe we will see an influx
in inventory. These two factors could put buyers in a prime position to purchase property.”
Jerry Pujals, The Pujals Team Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley
“I’ve been selling real estate in Napa for many years and have been through several cycles, including the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center. When the shelter in place (SIP) was enacted, it was as if the valve had been shut on our local real estate market for about a week or two. However, as we always do...we adapt and make changes. Prices remain stable as inventory is relatively low and demand is high. Buyers are benefiting from historically low interest rates. The market in Napa Valley continues to be strong.”
“Real Estate in the Napa Valley is slowly starting to recover while maintaining strict guidelines and safety measures. Inventory is below normal for this time of year, but prices are holding and more inventory is coming on. Extremely low interest rates are now attracting buyers, and economists are predicting a strong market.”
Giselle and Jerry Lampe Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley, Shared comment from satisfied clients, Jennifer and Aaron Belluomini
“Traversing through the chaos that is buying and selling a home during this crisis was beyond stressful, but Giselle and Jerry Lampe made my wife and I feel safe and confidant every step of the way. We love our new home, and are forever thankful for this great team.”
If you chose to sell or purchase a home, be safe, be brave, and get ready to show. Optimism, mixed with educated caution, makes for a reliable roadmap to safely showing your current home or viewing the dream home that’s waiting for you. Find comfort in the expertise, skills, and guidance of those who turn the key to the front door.
Thank you to all who contributed to this piece, helping Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine continue to be a source of information and support for the Napa Valley – We are in this Together.