Conducting Real Estate Business during the COVID19 Pandemic
People ask me everyday: what is going to happen to the Real Estate market? How is this pandemic going to impact your business? Is our house going to be worth anything after all of this? Are you even working?!
And although the answer to those questions is ever changing in the midst of COVID19 and the havoc it wreaks, we do know a few facts and we are optimistic on a few fronts. Let me share:
1.) Realtors are deemed ‘Essential Service Providers’ and can continue to conduct business safely, within the guidelines of the safety protocol we’ve been given by the county Health Department, NAR and CAR.
Realtors, along with Inspectors, Appraisers, Escrow Officers, Notaries, Title Companies, Photographers and Movers are available to assist in getting your home on the market and sold.
Access to your property Is restricted to contractors and service personnel who provide services necessary to maintaining habitability, sanitation and operation of the residence or address the safety of the residents.
Gardners and Painters? No
Plumbers and Exterminators? Yes
2.) The way we work has changed. Realtors work within new limitations but ones that the public and our clients are not unfamiliar with – we conduct our business virtually. We meet with our clients via Skype or Zoom and we use professional photographs, virtual home tours and aerial photos to market your home across all sites and social platforms.
3.) Our main goal is to help you sell or buy your home SAFELY. We are equipped with new forms that ensure your protection against unforeseen circumstances when in contract and forms that buyers must sign before entering your home, ensuring that they have not been exposed to someone with COVID19. In addition, potential buyers cannot even enter a home unless it is truly vacant, at which point only one agent can escort 2 buyers (from the same household) through a home via a scheduled showing. If the home is occupied, a buyer has to submit an offer and the offer must be accepted before they can enter the home for a walk thru inspection.
4.) People are buying and selling real estate regardless of COVID19. Overall, business is down, as we would expect given an unprecedented pandemic. Transaction timelines are being extended to protect the parties involved and people will decide to hold off until the Shelter in Place is lifted and/or they feel more secure. But there is always a percentage of people who need to buy and need to sell, regardless of what is going on and we are equipped with the appropriate forms and procedures to help conduct business on their behalf safely and efficiently.
5.) What we hope: we will bounce back. Interest rates will remain low to entice people to buy. We expect an influx of listings to hit the market once the SIP is lifted as people decide to make a change, think long term and perhaps downsize or move east following this pandemic. We believe the market was stronger going into COVID19 than it was prior to the recession in 2007 and we will bounce back stronger and faster because of it.
We will continue to keep you updated as things change daily, weekly and monthly. Stay safe.