The real estate market is ever moving and changing, especially in the age of a global pandemic. When dealing with social distancing and stay-at-home orders, what effect will COVID-19 have on the real estate market?
Primarily, people are nervous. There are people who want to sell their homes but are worried that there aren’t enough buyers and they won’t get a good price. Buyers want to look for a new house, but they are worried that not enough properties are on the market to find what they’re looking for. With a nervous market, it is harder for the real estate market to stay moving and prosperous. However, despite the National Association of Realtors estimate for a 10% reduction in real estate sales this year, it is still possible to buy or sell a house right now.
Open houses don’t have to be in person. There are programs like Matterport or Cupix that will do interactive property scans, creating a three-dimensional virtual tour for prospective buyers. Through Zoom or Facetime, video tours can be taken as well. IF going this route, it is important for the seller to include language in the purchase agreement acknowledging that the buyer is solely responsible for personal verification and professional inspections to confirm the condition of the property is satisfactory. If a buyer insists on an in-person showing, be sure to follow CDC and WHO guidelines on social distancing, face coverings, and hygiene standards. A real estate agent or seller is permitted to limit showings to pre-qualified buyers by giving a questionnaire to prospective buyers in order to prohibit those who may be sick or have recently travelled to high-risk locations from coming to an open house, but only if the questionnaire is presented to all buyers to avoid a potential Fair Housing violation.
Kendrick Law Group and Champion Title & Closing understand that the selling and showing stage, while only the first step, is essential to the real estate market, and it can be difficult to navigate during the new rules of the pandemic. Our teams have the experience and knowledge to guide you through this process. Please call 407-641-5847 (Kendrick Law Group) or 407-374-0198 (Champion Title & Closing) for any guidance, assistance or representation.
Co-written by: Layne Cohen, Law Clerk