How Real Estate Has Adjusted to COVID-19

Selling or buying has certainly changed during these unprecedented circumstances.  From how listings are marketed to closings, here are some of the ways real estate has adapted.

  • Buyers rely heavily on virtual tours and video and are encouraged to do all their research online before even going to look at property.  Live tours using FaceTime, etc. have become more common.
  • Specific questions are asked of buyers before setting up shows.  They must be pre-qualified, verify they are in good health and have not been around people with COVID-like symptoms, and not have traveled in the last 2 weeks. 
  • Showings are limited to decision makers only.  They must wear masks and gloves and remove shoes or wear booties.  They are asked not to touch anything and not to linger inside. 
  • Zoom type meetings have replaced agents having face to face discussions with buyers and sellers.
  • Closings are handled differently by each closing company but all are done to have minimal personal contact and minimal exposure.

We know people still want to/need to sell or buy right now.  Adjustments have been made to make every aspect a little safer.  Contact me if you want to know how technology and common sense can help you navigate our current market.  603-526-4116, www.DonnaForest.com, Donna@DonnaForest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

Can You Still Buy or Sell a Home Right Now?

The answer is a definite “yes.”  Realtors have adapted to our new reality and almost everything has shifted to a virtual platform.  Below are some of the changes we are seeing.

  • Agents and clients meet via video chats vs. in person.
  • Virtual tours of homes have become an even more important marketing feature.
  • Documents are filled out & signed electronically using electronic signature programs like Dot Loop or DocuSign.
  • There are safety procedures in place for showings.  Buyers remove shoes, sanitize their hands and don’t touch anything in the house, viewing times are limited, only people essential to the purchase are allowed in, and agents will ask both sellers and buyers if they have traveled in the last 14 days, been around anyone who is sick, or are sick themselves.  Masks may be required as well.
  • Closings can still occur.  Paperwork can be sent out ahead of time for signatures or even done in a parking lot in your own car; monies can be wired. 
  • Home inspectors limit who can be in the house during the inspection.  Exterior only appraisals may be accepted by some lenders. 
  • Buyers and sellers need to be aware the loan processing could take longer.  There could be delays beyond our control so set your expectations accordingly.

Some sellers will pull their house off the market and some buyers will put their search on hold until we are through this health crisis.  While it is not business as usual, adjustments are made so buying and selling can still be a reality.  Give me a call for any real estate needs you may have.  603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna@DonnaForest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team


Why this is Not the 2008 Housing Crisis

True, this pandemic is causing an economic slowdown.  However, from what I read, recovery will begin once the infection rate peaks.  Many financial institutes such as Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo Investment Institute expect strong gains in the 3rd & 4th quarter and into 2021.  Here is why home prices will NOT be dropping like they did starting in 2008.

1.    There is still a shortage of homes to sell, here and nationwide.  

2.    Housing is more affordable today.  The average family pays 15.5% of their income vs. 25.4% in 2006.  Prices are high, however wages have increased and mortgage rates are lower.

3.    There are stricter lending standards in place.  The 2008 housing crisis was caused by fraud & greed - too much borrowing, flawed financial models & predatory lending.

4.    Homeowners today have plenty of equity in their homes.  From 2005-2007, homeowners treated their houses like cash machines and refinanced $824 billion worth of home equity.  Compare this to 2017-2019 which totaled $232 billion.

5.    Home values increased in 3 of the last 5 US recessions.  (And, in 1991, they only dropped by 2%.)  

There are many variables to this current housing market – work with a professional who can keep you updated on its impacts.  Feel free to contact me for your real estate needs at 603-526-4116, www.DonnaForest.com, or Donna@DonnaForest.com


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Coronavirus and the Real Estate Market

While there are many concerns about the coronavirus and its impact on life as we know it, I thought it might be helpful to have some input on what we are seeing in regards to real estate.  At the moment, buyer interest is strong and they are still out looking at homes. According to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) survey released the week of 3/9/20, only 16% of REALTORS nationwide reported seeing reduced buyer interest in their markets.  Obviously this varies as I’m sure cities like Seattle are seeing greater impacts than in rural areas like ours.  Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, reported “two weeks ago I would have said the biggest hurdle is a general housing shortage. But that’s changed.  The coronavirus is an unprecedented event, and even though we don’t know how everything will play out, it’s currently a big uncertainty that’s hitting the stock market.”  He also feels that in the short term at least, home sales will be down by around 10%.  For now, our area is still seeing a shortage of homes to sell and good buyer demand with extremely low interest rates.  We are not seeing price reductions because of current conditions.  It is uncharted territory and evolving, but I will leave you with this quote “Tough times never last but tough people do.” 

 If you're looking to buy or sell a home, give me a call at 603-526-4116 or email me at Donna@DonnaForest.com, www.DonnaForest.com.

Teamwork from the Team that works –Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team


Gracious Country Cape

This home with well-designed living space offers easy flow among the living, dining, kitchen and screened porch.  Nice construction details feature atrium doors, crown moldings, vaulted ceiling with barn-style beams, and hardwood and tile floors.  Oversized first floor master bedroom with cathedral ceiling and office/sitting area, located at the opposite end of the house from the "action" for peace and quiet.  Three additional bedrooms on the second floor.  Privately sited on 2.06 acres with a nice mostly level yard with beautiful perennial gardens and other plantings.  Near the Town beach and a short distance to I-89, shopping, hospital, restaurants, and other services.  A very attractive and comfortable home in good condition which would suit many lifestyles.  Offered at $565,000.

Marilyn Kidder, Listing Broker, 603-526-4116

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.


5 Reasons Why Your House isn’t Selling in a Hot Market

The average days on market last year in NH was 56 days.  If your house has been on for way longer, there are a multiple of reasons as to why it hasn’t sold.  Below are some common causes.

  •  The house is overpriced - the #1 reason why most homes don’t sell. 
  • The house isn’t properly prepared for the market.  Cluttered, too personalized, not sparkling clean, not staged. 
  • Poor listing photos.  93% of buyers are searching online and weed out homes based on photos alone.
  • The property needs too many repairs or updates.  Buyers want move-in condition and are unwilling to take on the cost and effort of repairs & renovations.
  • You are too emotionally attached.  Not listening to recommendations by your agent, micro-managing the process, having unrealistic expectations, etc.

Homes are selling every day because they are at the right price and prepped for sale.  Contact me if you want honest & realistic advice on getting your house sold.  603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna@DonnaForest.com

Teamwork from the Team that works –Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

Traits of the 2019 Buyer

Every year the National Association of REALTORS conducts a survey of recent home buyers and sellers to gain insight on the home buying and selling process.  Below are some highlights from this report about buyers last year.

  • 33% of all home buyers were firstt time buyers and financed 94% of the purchase price.
  • Buyers searched 10 weeks and looked at 9 homes before buying a home.
  • The typical home purchased was 1850 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, built in 1990.
  • 93% of buyers found online websites their most useful source; photos and detailed information were an important factor.
  • 89% of buyers purchased their home using a real estate agent.
  • The top 3 factors influencing what buyers chose were: (1) quality of neighborhood, (2) convenience to job, and (3) overall affordability.

Sellers should be aware of how these buying traits might impact them.  For example, a house located out in the boonies with 5 bedrooms and 3000 sq. ft. doesn’t target the typical buyer – which could mean longer time on market.  Contact me if you’d like to know how these factors might impact you.  603-526-4116, www.DonnaForest.com, Donna@DonnaForest.com

Data from the NAR 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.

2019 Market Data for NH

Interested in home and condo sales in New Hampshire for the past year?    To review the market data from New Hampshire REALTORS for 2019, click here 2019 Market Data from NHAR.pdf 

Private Colonial

This attractive, four bedroom colonial is privately set on two acres of land in Bradford, NH.  It offers a spacious, welcoming layout with hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances.  The master bedroom is on the second floor with ensuite bath.  Two car garage, nice yard, and large deck across the entire length of the house to watch the wildlife.  Offered at $324,900.  

Emily Campbell, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.

Looking for a View?

If you're looking for serene tranquility with gorgeous westerly views, this is the home for you!  This Davis Frame home offers 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, open kitchen, dining and living areas and heated 3 bay garage with storage above.  Welcoming screen porch, large deck and family room in walk-out lower level.  All on 5.2 acres.  You won't be disappointed!  Offered at $479,000.

Emily Campbell, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.