How Coronavirus Has Changed Real Estate

Wondering what our ‘new normal’ looks like?

The state began its reopening back on June 1, but for us as Realtors, it was never really closed.Conducting real estate transactions has always been designated as an essential service, and rightly so.  Some people scoffed and said that buyers and sellers could wait a bit, but that was only partly true.  Many buyers and sellers stepping into the market had already begun the process of moving , signed employment contracts, accepted transfer orders from their jobs or the military-and had no choice but to forge ahead as scary as it may have been.  While many businesses paused or closed temporarily, there were plenty that were still doing business and that business included hiring new employees.

Even we can admit the first few weeks of March were nerve-wracking and trying to assure our clients (and ourselves) that we were taking every precaution was hard,  but we did it and are thankful for the clients that trusted us not only with the sale of their home, but with their well-being.

Three months later and we are still learning about Covid-19 and how it moves and transfers from one person to another. The state seems to be ‘back to normal’ in most respects, but we have not let down our guard and are still committed to your safety first.

So what are the covid real estate rules?

While there are no hard and fast rules as we have seen in other industries, our ‘new normal’ for Buyers means that we will drive separately to showings, wear masks, in each home we tour in person.  We can preview homes for you, if that is your preference, and in some cases, we can even offer a video tour.  Hand sanitizer will be offered before entering and after exiting each home.  As for contracts, those have been online and digitally signed for some time now, but for those that want a face to face discussion, we are happy to chat over the phone or via Zoom to go over any questions before you sign.

For Sellers, things are a little different too. We ask our Sellers to leave all lights on and closet doors open before showings, so buyers do not have to touch surfaces in your home.  We will place hand sanitizer inside the home and (if available) wipes to be used just in case.   We will be sure to create a 3D Tour of your home and if needed, a video tour for Buyers to preview before an actual  in person appointment. 

Regarding inspections, appraisals and other events that occur during the purchasing process, we ask that inspections be done in a timely manner and that only the inspector be in the home during that time.  Buyers may arrive 30 minutes prior to the end of the inspection for review and explanation of any findings. This is to minimize risk to all parties involved. 

Many closing attorneys in the area are set up to do ‘walk up’ closings, or offer different rooms and even different times for Buyer and Seller so that they are not in the same room together.  Georgia has allowed the use of E-Notaries as well. If you need a recommendation to a provider, we are happy to provide you with a list. 

Out of respect and consideration for all parties, we ask all of our clients to let us know if they are feeling unwell or have knowingly been exposed to a person with Covid-19, and we fully intend to do the same. 

While this all may sound like ‘too much’ work or ‘ a lot of fuss’ we can assure you that in spite of all of these things added to the mix, our market is still moving and at much the same pace it was back in February.  We have not had any issues getting our listings shown or closed, and regardless of price point they are not staying on the market for long.  We are utilizing all of these new protocols and at this point, they do feel, well….normal.

If your plans have been put on hold, reconsider.  If you have questions, ask them.  No matter what you decide we are here for you whether it is now, or later.