MILWAUKEE -- Buying a home can be one of the biggest decisions in a person's life, and it gets even more complicated during a pandemic. While COVID-19 has meant big changes in the real estate industry, it hasn't stopped people from buying and selling.
"I really kind of dodged a bullet," said Molly Allen.
Allen said she never expected to sell her Fox Point home during a pandemic. Shortly after putting it on the market in mid-March, it sold.
"If we had waited another week or two, it probably would've been a whole different story," said Allen.
Then, she became a buyer.
"No one was showing houses, and we didn't know what the market was going to look like, and I didn't really know where I wanted to end up," said Allen.
Gone are the days of open houses, with many showings now virtual. Real estate agent Janine Werner said you shouldn't let that scare you away.
"We're seeing less inventory, but we're still seeing competitive offers," said Werner.
She said sellers might be a little less eager to put their homes on the market, but potential buyers are taking advantage of low interest rates amid changes for everyone -- with buyers asked to wear gloves and masks, and sellers asked to change the way they present their homes.
"We always ask, make sure the lights are on, the doors are open, so there's less interaction, less touching when we go in to see a property," said Werner.
Allen said trust is key to ensuring the process is safe.
"Having an agent you can trust will definitely get you through," said Allen.
Werner said if you're a buyer, you want to make sure you're pre-qualified, as they're only taking part in showings with those who are. She said the market remains competitive despite a smaller batch of homes for sale.