Despite pandemic, local real estate agents report booming business

Updated: Jun. 18, 2020 at 4:01 PM EDT
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CHAUMONT, N.Y. (WWNY) - Real estate agents thought their industry was in serious trouble as COVID-19 hit. But, it’s quite the opposite as the area finds itself in a seller’s market.

At Lake Ontario Realty in Chaumont, the property contract folders are stuffed full. Realtors are working double-time and houses are flying off the market.

"We've had a really pleasant surprise in that the market has gotten increasingly chaotic and busy, homes are selling that have sat on the market a while, we don't have enough inventory, so anything hitting the market is getting scooped up pretty quick, multiple offer situations, not at all what we expected," said Amanda Miller, Lake Ontario Realty LLC owner.

Rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic, lenders are lowering interest rates to percentages realtors have never seen before.

"I had a buyer that was quoted 4.3 through an online lender, and locally they were quoted 2.8, so that is a lot of house that they are able to afford extra with that 2.8 percent interest rate," said Miller.

Buyers are jumping at the opportunity. Realtors say a reasonably priced home will only stay on the market for about four days. Sometimes they'll sell before the sign is even in the ground.

"We've had situations where the sign is going up and before it's even in the MLS, people are driving by and calling and within 24 hours, it's got multiple offers," said Miller.

On top of having low interest rates, the demand for homes is high right now. Realtors say some New York City residents are seeking homes upstate to avoid a second wave of virus and new military families are expected to come to the area soon once soldiers can change stations again.

"I believe in July and August is when the big influx is going to come in, and right now, inventory is low in our area, so it's a sellers market. Sellers are selling homes left and right," said Marsha Gibbons, TLC Real Estate owner.

Realtors say that will be key to helping the economy recover.

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