Who is showing up at model homes, sales offices during COVID pandemic?

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

COVID-19 has had a myriad and ever-changing impacts on home builders and home buyers.

One of those impacts is that the buyers who are setting up appointments are showing up at sales offices are not just window shopping. They are serious and are often ready to move forward with a purchase, according to Steven Hensley, an analyst with Belfiore Real Estate Consulting in Phoenix.

“I think the buyers that are visiting the sales office — they’ve done their homework.

When they’re visiting the sales office, they are generally pretty serious about buying,” Hensley said.

Historically low interest rates have continued to spur home buyers. Home builders have also benefited from fewer existing / resale homes being put on the market as homeowners and buyers worry be exposed to COVID-19.  New home builders have been deployed more technology and social distancing measure to assure prospective buyers. A number of builders, including Lennar, have technology at model homes in place so home buyers can do self-guided tours on their own.

Hensley said prospective buyers also do not appear as worried about checking out model homes as they are about other more crowded activities.

“It’s not a restaurant. It’s nothing with large crowds of people,” he said.

Hensley said there was already ample information online for home buyers to research and narrow their searches before COVID-19. He said home builders have enhanced their virtual and targeting marketing since COVID and buyers are levering online resources even more. That means fewer window shoppers and more serious sales leads for builders.

“There are really not too many people who are just out for a Sunday stroll looking at model homes,” Hensley said.

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