Is Real Estate Selling and Is It an Essential Service During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Selling real estate during COVID-19 is not business as usual. There are strict guidelines that we as Realtors must follow now whether listing or selling a home. We are encouraged to do everything virtually - virtual tours, virtual listing presentations, virtual presentation of offers,etc. Homes are selling during this period, with multiple offers and over asking price.
If for some reason the "virtual" model is not feasible, then we can physically show buyers homes that are vacant. The occupants no longer reside in the property and only two people are allowed in the house. All precautionary measures must be taken, i.e. buyers ride in their own car, sanitizers, try not to touch anything, gloves if possible, booties on the shoes and now we are being encouraged to always wear masks.
The California Association of Realtors issued four addendums specifically related to the Coronavirus that both buyers, sellers and agents must sign. These forms essential advise all parties of the associated risks they are taking and that if for some reason the transaction runs into hurdles related to COVID-19 and the transaction does not close, the parties agree to cancel the contract.
Another obstacle my soon be getting a mortgage. Jumbo mortgages have all but dried up on this area. A jumbo loan as defined in our market is a loan over $765,500. In speaking with my loan officer, a buyer can get a first mortgage at $765,500 and then an equity line with a max of $500,000. So at this time the total amount of a mortgage is $1,200,000. And this can change as we are experiencing changes every day.
Is this the best time to buy or sell? Perhaps, there are always extenuating circumstances whereby both buyers and sellers have to move regardless of the external conditions.
With any luck (and prays) all of this will be over in a couple of weeks and we can get back to normal. Or will we even know what normal is?