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Essential And Nonessential Services Real Estate

“The staff here at BuyerAgentSearch by Skyfor are talking to buyers agent all over the world about the impact the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is having on their ability to serve real estate buyers and sellers. If you are thinking of purchasing or selling real estate, please get in touch and we’ll give you the latest news right from the mouths of people living there.”

Kathleen Chiras, President

4/27/2020 Chris, our top buyer’s agent for the ski towns in Colorado including Breckenridge and Frisco reports that tomorrow the area will be opening up to allow showings

4/27/2020 report from Jim, top buyer agent out of  Worcester, MA.  Says they are still doing showings under the special guidelines of 2 days/week with limited hours.  For example, sellers are comfortable with 4-6 pm on Thursdays and 1-5 pm on Saturdays, with precautions of only 15 min/visitor, and wearing masts, booties & gloves & a wipe-down clean up afterwards.   They are doing the same procedure for occupied as well as vacant properties. This has created an even stronger than ever seller’s market, and will total business is down about 33%, there continue to be bidding wars on desirable properties.

04/22/2020 Trevor, the owner of a large real estate firm in Southern Costa Rica that caters international buyers: “The travel advisory restriction has been extended to mid May due to government measures to control the spread of Covid-19.”

04/16/2020 Sue, from a top buyer agency in the Washington DC area: “We are still showing properties, with masks, gloves, & booties to protect buyers & sellers. We had a recent surprise on a home that was supposed to be vacant. It was full of stuff and a person saying “come on in!”. Real estate is still considered an essential service in the DC area. Our company is downsizing office space. However, since so many agents are now working from home.”

04/14/2020 Nate B., Ames, IA: “We have remained really busy in Central Iowa, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. There are some sellers being more selective about showings, but for the most part, everything has been steady and busy with my book of business. I do think some deals are falling apart with buyers that are losing jobs, however, and I know the transaction numbers around here are down a little bit from last year this time.”

04/11/2020 Buyers Broker Jackie M., Loveland, CO: “I closed a deal on the 31st amidst the chaos of COVID-19. I sent them a zoom video the day before of the closing process and what to look for. They did great!! I also had a zoom meeting with another buyer on Monday the 6th of April. The meeting went for an hour and I believe went wonderfully. Prior to the meeting, I sent all of them a copy of my Home Buyer Packet for them to review and ask questions. They will be starting to look for a property mid-June. I have set them up on a daily search so she can keep track of what is going on in the market until they are ready.”

04/09/2020 Buyers Agent David A., McMinnville, OR: “Our area is not that affected by coronavirus but we’re taking safety precautionary measures such as wearing gloves and masks and bringing alcohol and sanitizers. Buyers don’t have a problem but sellers are more concerned, which I understand. I am not thinking much about it since we are busy. I remain aware of making sure to stay healthy, avoid getting infected and spreading the virus.”

04/08/2020 Buyers Broker Victoria M., Pratt, KS: “We’re okay but we are being very careful. We can do showings. It’s harder when there are still people in the house, but we also do virtual showings.”

04/08/2020 Exclusive Buyers Broker Fernando B., Puerto Rico: “We are allowed to do business but we are very prudent. We can do consults and virtual showings for interested buyers.”

04/08/2020 Buyers Broker Leslie P., Carbondale, IL: “We are considered essential and therefore still able to conduct business. Buyer and sellers are welcome to contact us anytime.”

04/02/2020 Ruben H. of Yuma, AZ: He wrote up 3 new construction contracts this week.  He advises new sellers who are thinking of selling (or just families in general) to consider fixing up their home as a family project, especially thinks like painting in & out.  This will improve the home’s value and provide a memorable family experience.  Home Depot will deliver paint & supplies. He notes things that repeatedly come up on inspection and appraisal reports that could be fixed now before going on the market (like exposed wires, etc). He also says that those in lockdown might want to enjoy just rearranging the furniture or going through old closets.  He’s having fun with his past clients by introducing them over the internet and they are exchanging family recipes. kc

04/01/2020 Peggy E, Show Low, NZ: “Business is somewhat slow and we really don’t know what we’re doing right now they have put no protocol for us realtors. But we can’t have anybody in offices right now except for the agents.”

04/01/2020 Suzanne S., Longview, TX: “I had placed protocols for my team. I am in constant communication with them on procedures. We’re still able to do showings, as a matter of fact, I had 10 CDAs done yesterday, (03/31/2020). We are open.”

03/30/2020 Broker Bob R., Londonderry, NH: “Real estate has been considered non-essential. But on Friday afternoon the Governor decided they can do business in real estate but not allowed to do open houses. Says sellers would allow them showings, but would prefer buyers with approved loans. He can do video calls through Zoom or 6-foot face to face consultation with buyers or sellers.”

03/30/2020 Attorney Rosario A. report from Costa Rica: “Corporate and property taxes were sent in, but we are not always getting receipts back due to closed municipalities.  We are lucky to live in a more rural area where we can at least get out & walk & be with nature.  But on the business side, everything is very very slow (even slower than normal “Tico time”).”

­03/30/2020  Cindy N., a friend living in Dominical, Costa Rica: “Patience is the name of the game right now.  All parks and attractions have been closed.” 

03/28/2020 Broker Femion M., Boston, MA: “Strictly private showings, with gloves, masks and booties; appraisers will not go in; closings are taking through car windows; people losing their jobs; others are trying to renegotiate prices after the Purchase & Sale agreement is signed.”

Purchase & Sale agreement

03/27/2020 Agent Mark, Redding, CA: “Market is still working. Sellers are taking pictures of their own homes & videos. There are delays in inspections and professional photos. They are writing up contracts pending the lifting of restrictions.”

03/26/2020 Buyers Agent Anthony B., – Whitehall, PA: “I’ve literally shut down about 10 days ago. Personal decision to avoid being part of the problem and more of a solution. I am able to work within the confines of what the state mandates and do anything I can to help.”

03/26/2020 Buyers Agent Aaron W, Springfield, MO: “We’re following the CDC guidelines. Realtors are still able to go on showings. Buyers and Sellers are being reasonable. If needed, I am happy to provide virtual tours for and everything that can be done remotely.”

03/26/2020 Buyers Agent Becky J., Des Moines, IA: “Our state is not yet on lockdown. But I anticipate sellers may not want to show properties, so I may invest in doing more virtual tours instead. I like unoccupied properties best because that just solves the problem. I am working from home but I’ve gone out a couple of times for showings. I’m happy to go out but will take the necessary precautions.”

Working from home

03/26/2020 Buyers Agent Stan C., Brownwood, TX: “Our office is temporarily closed due to the virus. But we are working from home.”

3/24/2020 Jenny, the admin who runs an office out of Holiday, FL. “Our traditional real estate services are on hold right now as sellers don’t want strangers coming through their homes. However, since we specialize in bank-owned REO properties which are usually vacant, they are doing ok.  Second homeowners in the company are holding their properties. Turning them into rentals rather than using them as a getaway, due to the coronavirus”

3/22/2020 From a Webmaster who does real estate websites: “My other RE clients are positioning themselves as investment agents during this downturn. The smart money moved out of the market and is sitting on cash for the next few months. Looks like June/July will be the bottom. Then they’ll start vacuuming up the deals. Foreign investments are increasing, almost in direct proportion to Americans exiting. So a fixed-rate mortgage right now brings greater returns on the next recovery, greater than the ’08 crash.”

Spoke with buyers agent in  Walden, Anchorage, AL state they will try to see if they are an “essential service”. Most real estate activities have been shut down and people are working from home.

Spoke with buyers agent in Sierra Vista AZ.  They are open & busy.

Spoke with buyers agent in Tucson, AZ.  They are open & busy.

Kathleen Chiras

Kathleen Chiras is the associations manager for the National Buyers Agents Association. She has a heart for helping home buyers, and has been doing this for over 25 years!

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