Real Estate in the Time of Corona Virus and Adjusting Financial Markets
Observations and New Protocols from the real estate front lines.
Change in life is inevitable and sometimes necessary even if the timing is not perfect. If selling your home is important for you now in this spring market, we offer some advice and want to explain how we are buying and selling real estate business in these unusual times.
The CT State Executive Order (as of Monday, March 23) says that real estate transactions are considered an essential business. That means we can continue including buying, selling, listing, closing, appraising, valuing, and moving. This is excellent news! We must continue to be diligent following the procedures outlined by the CDC including safe distancing, disinfecting surfaces, and handwashing, and human contact.
The interest rates remain at historic lows. We are seeing our buyers getting fixed mortgage rates under 3%. Buyers are in touch with us every day to discuss available housing inventory. And, they are actively using online search to look for and explore homes. We have seen a spike in online activity with houses that are on the market.
While times seem uncertain to some, there are many families and individuals who are using this opportunity to improve or change their real estate holdings. When the stock market declines, real estate can be the safest harbor for investment. Many want to improve their surroundings. This is providing a remarkable opportunity for our sellers. I just recently had multiple offers on a well-priced home that was on the market for only 3 days.
You may ask yourself, how can I let the public in my house at this time? We're not suggesting nor can we host open houses, but if you are comfortable, we are able to do limited private showings and virtual showings.
We are following a rigid protocol of protection for showings and here is how we're doing it.
- Pre-Qualification required by each buyer before the appointment including written proof they are financially qualified to purchase at this time.
- Safe Distancing from each other during showings.
- We do not ride in the same car as our buyers.
- Required use of hand sanitizer before entering and after exiting homes. Yes, we carry it with us at all times.
- Use of plastic gloves for door handles, and lockboxes.
- Limited touching of surfaces while in the home.
- Absolutely no use of restrooms (ever).
- Remove shoes. We carry shoe covers with us and can provide some for your home.
- Virtual/Digital Video Tours – We have the ability to “Facetime” Skype or Zoom meeting buyers from most homes for advance showings.
- Zoom/Skype Meetings. We are meeting with buyers and sellers for consultations digitally. This has worked extremely well and is quite easy.
If you are thinking of selling in the next couple of months, please call us now so we can develop a very specific strategy to market your house. We want you to be ready to go when things settle down and the timing is perfect. There could be an onslaught of real estate activity when the market resumes, and we need a plan to make your house stand out to buyers who are ready and qualified.
If you are thinking of buying, we can help you search for homes and show you the home digitally before you see it in person so you can get a sense of the space.
As always, as your trusted real estate adviser, we are here for you. We are working. Our main focus remains the safety and well-being of our sellers and buyers. Please call us any time. You can reach Judy at 203-293-0039.