House flippers 'surprisingly unaffected' by COVID-19, but brace for mixed bag in months to come

Milan Polk, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Business News

"There's no more group showings," said Anthony Downing. "Everyone's taking their turns. It's slower because there's no open houses."

Real estate agents have ramped up virtual tour offerings, while curbside closings on homes are making it easier to complete the home buying process safely.

Frank Montro, a Chicago real estate agent, has had to adapt to virtual selling, too. He's changed the way he talks about houses so that even if buyers aren't touring in person, they can imagine themselves there. "You learn to engage with clients via Zoom and FaceTime," Montro said.

The pandemic created an unexpected shift in the market, but one that those in real estate say is manageable. Montro, who has been in the business for over 30 years, said he believes the market will be fine.

"With a lot of vacant rehab homes, there's no problem, man," said Montro.

To him, the pandemic has only created a temporary bump in the road. There are still houses available to be flipped. The market fluctuates all the time, he noted.


"Returns get low, prices drop, people drop out. It'll go back up," Montro said.

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