Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Elegant Casas has implemented an action plan that permits us to continue to serve our clients while minimizing any risk of spreading COVID-19. Below are our new protocols.
Minimize Unnecessary Showings. Buyers must be pre-approved and ready to purchase before scheduling a viewing. It is recommended, when uncertain of the community, to conduct a drive-by prior to an actual showing.
Leverage Technology. Our listings will all have videos in order to provide an online 24/7 virtual tour, which helps tremendously to minimize showings. We will continue to obtain electronic signatures from our clients through Dotloop. We are able to have virtual meetings through the client’s preference of WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom.
Remote Office. Our physical office is still open, but on an “as needed” basis. Our agents will be working remotely, but will continue to be available to their clients. Business will be conducted primarily in a virtual manner via video calls and conference calls. Any use of our physical office will strictly adhere to CDC guidelines of social distancing, detailed below. Mobile Closings are available – just let us know where and when, this way you avoid going to a physical office.
Social Distancing. To adhere to the strict CDC guidelines of social distancing, Elegant Casas is taking the following precautions at showings, closings, and all other in-person contact, including, but not limited to:
- No-handshake policy.
- Frequent & abundant hand-sanitization and hand-washing
- Frequent cleaning and disinfection of shared space/items
- Stay 6-feet from others
- If you are sick or exhibiting symptoms, or have recently traveled to a CDC designated Level 3 country, please self-quarantine.
Message to our Sellers: Homes are still selling. Our Federal Reserve just dropped their interest rate to near zero to keep the money moving for people buying homes. It’s quite unprecedented. Buyers will be vetted to minimize unnecessary showings – buyers must be pre-approved, ready to purchase, and received the online virtual tour prior to scheduling an in-person showing. Drive-bys will be recommended. Buyers will be provided detailed instructions prior to viewing your home, in order to minimize any risks of COVID-19 (Click Here: HOME VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS (COVID-19). Note that we will not be providing any open houses. We’d be happy to offer you a virtual consultation, if you prefer, instead of an in-home selling consultation.
Message to our Buyers: We would be happy to show any properties on which you are strongly contemplating placing an offer, but if you aren’t seriously considering that property or aren’t ready to go under contract, we suggest holding off on attending showings to keep germ exposure to a minimum. Now is the time to look at properties you love online! If you don’t feel comfortable going to in-person showings and wish to put your search on hold, we certainly understand. Our buyer agents will continue to show homes to their clients with the following measures in place:
- Agents/Clients will wash their hands before entering, upon entering, and after departing the property.
- Agents/Clients will drive in separate cars to the home.
- Agents/Clients will not shake hands with anyone.
- Agents/Clients will stay 6 feet apart from each other and others throughout the showing process.
- Agents will carry disposable disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to properly follow the above procedures.
- If you are sick or exhibiting symptoms, or have recently traveled to a CDC designated Level 3 country, please self-quarantine. We are happy to provide a virtual walkthrough for our clients.
WHAT BUYERS AND SELLERS CAN EXPECT FROM THE MARKET
Lawrence Yu, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, had anticipated about 5.5 million sales of previously owned homes this year (an increase from 2019 and 2018). That’s because borrowing costs have plunged to lows never before seen (e.g., an average interest rate of 3.29% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage) and the job market is strong. Obviously, though, no one could have foreseen a virus disrupting market conditions at the start of 2020.
Though there has been the occasional seller canceling an open house or removing a listing entirely, the fact remains that properties are still moving; buyers and sellers understand this market has something to offer for everyone.
Yes, experts are tampering their expectations for the spring market slightly. The most significant impact is the fact that sellers may be less likely to list their homes right now, which could dampen hopes that significantly more inventory would hit the market come spring and alleviate the supply stress. Conditions that make for a fantastic market for both buyers and sellers still exist— low rates and rising home values.
Ultimately, you have to determine what’s right for you as a homebuyer or home seller. Our job isn’t to push you into a decision you’re not comfortable with, but rather to provide hyperlocal context that may be lost in the national media coverage. Our market is still thriving.