Real estate market still active, more showings happening virtually

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -- Buying and selling a house is always a bit of a process that can be tricky and tedious, but what's it like during a global pandemic?

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By the time the sun goes down Friday night. Jenni Watkins will hopefully have her home sold. She had to quickly move and showing her house was no problem. Now trying to get it closed and signed is where things had to change.

“We all signed powers of attorney so that the paperwork can be done without us being physically in the attorney's office,” she said.

The process has not only been a unique experience for her-- but realtors as well.

“I have not been at a closing on a deal. So it's kind of unique in that the attorneys have their guidelines. Thank goodness, everyone's put some guidelines in place immediately and responded pretty quickly,” Tracy Roger, Realtor with Ruhl & Ruhl said.

Caroline Ruhl, CEO of Ruhl & Ruhl says spring is usually a busy time for the housing market. Right now, much of their homes have to be shown virtually as opposed to face to face. She says the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown.

“Could be a lot of our business will just get pushed back. Where spring is normally our busy season. Maybe summer will be our busy season. It's too early to tell really for us, Ruhl said.

In the first three weeks of March, Ruhl & Ruhl sold 291 properties compared to 350 homes last March. They have 162 houses for sale compared to 154 last March. While that's down a bit, Ruhl says the market will continue to hold steady. In terms of average sales price, this month brought in 55 million 500.

“It's not going to come to a dead halt. It’s going to slow down, but it's not going to stop,” she said.

As for Watkins, she hopes this doesn't discourage people.
“We are in a unique situation and a unique time and we are still going to go forward. People need to buy houses, people need to sell houses like I needed to sell my house,” Watkins said.

Ruhl says the best news right now is the interest rates. They’re staying low. Now is also a good time to look at getting pre-approved for a loan. There are currently 1, 350 homes for sale in the Quad Cities.