A real estate expert's take on the pandemic housing market in Michigan

Six months into the pandemic and the strength of the real estate market in Michigan right now may be surprising to you.

"With interest rates being so low, there definitely is a group that took advantage of it to refinance and they're staying where they are at. They're comfortable; they've done the home improvements and they're good. But we have another whole group of demographics that are saying, 'Hey, if working from home is something that is now an option permanently, even when we get past COVID in the way that we know it now, but I can work from home three days a week moving forward, it now opens up homes in different areas where you don't have to worry about the commute," Schneider said.

Real estate agents are now also seeing changes in the dynamics of what families are looking for. Many need more space to turn into that extra home office or even a classroom or work area for the kids. 

This runs into the problem of low inventory. Sellers are happy right now, but buyers may have an issue.

"Buyers are probably getting very tired of everybody in our industry telling them they have to have patience on one hand, they need to be persistent. Don't give up, stay out there and when you do find something that meets your needs, be ready to act and act quickly," she said. "The days of being able to look at a home, going home that night, having dinner, sleeping on it, thinking about it, coming back the next day with an offer, probably isn't going to work for you as a buyer in this market."

The housing industry has been incredibly strong this year, but will the trend continue for those planning to buy and sell this fall?

"When I look at as we move into the fall is, what is it later this week, you have the airline industry and the hospitality industries on the verge of potential lots of layoffs and furloughs, with those industries, how does that impact employment? Those are certainly some things on the radar. We have the election and while we all know that no one president impacts directly the mortgage interest rate or things of that nature, they do impact the tone of the country. They do impact the way the markets look at things so it'll be interesting to get through that."

Any advice for people on either end of the market?

"If you're just thinking about it, there's no commitment to talk to someone. Find out what the values are in the neighborhood. Chances are that realtor, if they work that local market is going to know are buyers already looking in your neighborhood where this could be a very easy option for you to put your home on the market? At the very least find out what, with maybe their eye, they would say you need to tweak. If you decide to push it to next year at least you know the home-improvement jobs to start working on now."