Skip to Content

CORONAVIRUS IMPACTS: Are you still thinking about buying a new car or house?

Austin home for sale

AUSTIN, Minn. (FOX 47) - For those still having to commute to work, having a reliable ride and a place to come home to are important to every day life.

"Not sure who's open, who's not open. It changes day to day," said Scott Swelland, Austin Ford general manager.

Yet cars and houses are still being sold.

"People are still looking. We're keeping our distance of course and washing our hands," said Lonnie Skalicky, Sterling Real Estate owner.

As well as fixed.

"We're down a little bit on hours and sales is open til 5 but service has been pretty busy," said Swelland. "People still needs their cars fixed and we're trying to help."

Both dealerships and realtors are having to do things differently.

"Got a lot of Lysol wipes," said Swelland. "We're trying to be pretty vigilant on that."

"No open houses and for good reason," said Skalicky. "You just don't know what's going to come into your house so those are all indefinitely postponed."

According to the website Showing Time, home showing and buying activity was higher than usual through mid-March but has started to go down nationwide, less so in Austin.

"Hasn't slowed anything down, let's put it that way," said Skalicky. "Our market is still very low on inventory. I just listed one on Tuesday evening and have six showings today and two more tomorrow."

Inventory on vehicles is good... for now.

"There will be a shortage. I think that's pretty unavoidable," said Swelland. "We'll get through it."

Car manufactuers have had to adapt.

"Ford is making ventilators. They're working on that pretty hard. Chrysler is working hard too to help out the medical community so that's pretty exciting," said Swelland.

But there's still uncertainty.

"At this point in time, it hasn't changed," Skalicky said. "We're thankful that we can be out and market, show houses and do appraisals, but we don't know."

As well as a learning curve.

"It's weird not shaking hands. I tried to shake your hand. It's just mentally tough to get over that," said Swelland.

However, with low interest rates on houses and zero percent financing on cars, it may be tough to pass up a good deal.

"If you see something you like, you probably better jump on it because it may be gone," advises Skalicky.

"Trying to be safe, smart and do what we can to stay busy here," said Swelland.

Austin realtors say customers are still looking for houses online. They also notice a small inventory in Albert Lea and homes in Owatonna and Rochester not staying on the market long.

Alex Tejada

Skip to content