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Puget Sound real estate faces uncertain future during coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is already starting to have an impact on the real estate market, experts say.

The coronavirus pandemic is already starting to have an impact on Washington's real estate market, experts say. 

"With some still very strict guidelines, it's certainly not business as usual," said Chet Crile, a licensed broker. 

Crile said according to the state order, properties can still be listed and shown, within certain guidelines. 

"There have been some cancellations. There have been things coming off the market temporarily. But, interestingly, there have been new listings hitting the market. Not a flood of them, but certainly on a daily basis," said Crile.

Crile said the current housing climate could breed great opportunities for anyone looking to buy down the road. 

"There isn't as much inventory right now of course because, again, things have come off the market, whether temporarily or just canceled altogether for the time being. But, I would say still be ready," said Crile.

In a recent Realtor.com housing forecast, March started out strong, but the second half was less promising. 

According to a Realtor.com panel survey, almost 50% of buyers are less optimistic about buying a home right now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and 44% of sellers are looking to sell later. 

"We're going to be entering, what we might call the new spring, at least for this year and that could be when restrictions are lifted and things return to more of a normal state sometime later in the year," said Crile. 

Crile believes housing prices will take a hit, but he's unsure if the hit will be comparable to the 2008 recession. 

"This is such a different beast. So, I think when we get back, I see probably a quicker recovery this time around and maybe not bottoming out as much as it did that time," said Crile.

In the meantime, Crile suggests sellers get creative and use the time they do have to get their properties in tip-top shape. 

Crile adds that some homeowners are still listing their homes for sale and the listings that are out there are getting a lot of attention online, as most people are at home on their computers. 

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