By Kim Byrnes • Photography by Nikola Tzenov
A global pandemic has proven disastrous for many business sectors, but according to local realtor Yvette Rippeon, Carroll County’s real estate market is thriving in spite of COVID-19.
A lifelong resident of Carroll County, Rippeon has been a realtor with Long & Foster for more than 15 years, and after serving on the board of directors of the Carroll County Realtors Association for the past several years, will take the helm as the president of the organization in October.
“It goes without saying that 2020 hasn’t been without its challenges, but surprisingly enough the real estate market in Carroll County is very strong, despite COVID-19,” Rippeon said. “We are squarely in a sellers’ market right now, with very low inventory available, so if anyone is considering selling, now is the perfect time to reach out to a local realtor.”
Following national trends, as of the end of summer, home sales and the price of homes sold had increased compared to last year. According to Rippeon, sold listings in Carroll County are up by 3.7 percent over last year, with the average sale price having increased by 4.5 percent. “This is great news for our sellers, whereas our buyers do have the hurdle of very limited properties to choose from, resulting in a very competitive climate,” Rippeon said.
COVID did slow things down initially, but Rippeon said realtors were able to pivot, quickly embracing a new way of doing business. “We were able to quickly adapt, by implementing virtual showings, e-signing documents, and providing remote settlements,” Rippeon said. “Our realtor community has worked hard to keep buyers and sellers safe by practicing social distancing, limiting the number of people at showings and settlements, and sanitizing properties before and after showings.”
Heading into the end of 2020, Rippeon is optimistic that the strong market will continue. She said that low interest rates, combined with people making home decisions around the pandemic, will continue to drive the market.
“With interest rates at an all-time low, and projected to hold there, for a while anyway, we anticipate a continued competitive market through the remainder of 2020,” Rippeon said. “There have been so many changes, with people working and schooling from home like never before, which are driving people into the housing market, as they find their current space doesn’t necessarily fit their changing work and lifestyles.”
“We anticipate these types of changes will continue well into 2021, and we are ready to meet the challenge,” Rippeon said.
In addition to staying busy with the work of helping people buy and sell homes, Rippeon points out that Carroll’s realtors are also busy helping the community move forward through tough times. She said realtors are conducting food drives, sending cards to local nursing homes, partnering with local organizations, providing school supplies to kids in need and raising money for various community causes.
“It is important for everyone to understand: We don’t just help buy and sell homes, we are active members in our neighborhoods. Our children and grandchildren live and go to school here,” Rippeon said. “We support our local businesses and jump in wherever and whenever we are needed. We are invested in our local communities and we are always here for them.”
Visit www.carrollcountyrealtors.net for more information on the local real estate market in Carroll County.