How is coronavirus impacting the Seattle real estate market?
Since news of COVID-19 swept the world, a lot has changed and continues to change rapidly. Like in all businesses and industries, those in real estate have been adapting and doing our best to plan ahead. On Monday, March 23, 2020 Governor Jay Inslee announced to Washington State a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.
What did this situation look like before the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order?
Until now bars, restaurants and places of entertainment and recreation statewide had been limiting occupancy, doing just takeout orders, etc. In the real estate industry, we temporarily stopped hosting public open houses and were only doing private showings in addition to our extra efforts to wipe down surfaces and make hand sanitizer available.
What does the situation look like now?
Effective midnight on Wednesday, March 25th and lasting for two weeks, all “nonessential critical infrastructure workers” must close. This includes real estate brokerages and services. However, we can continue working from home.
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During this time, many aspects to how we as real estate agents conduct our business is temporarily changed. At the same time, because a lot of what we do has already been changing to be more tech friendly, much will remain the same.
Certain workers in the “Financial Services Sector” have been deemed essential workers including mortgage lenders, escrow and title insurers. Therefore, real estate transactions already under contract may continue with the closing process. It is important to remember that there may be delays, for which we have created a new addendum to add to contracts as needed.
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What we can do during this time:
- Provide services remotely including complimentary listing consultations and meetings
- Use the sites and software we already use to create online forms and do electronic signings
- Send virtual tours, videos and photos of homes
What we cannot do during this time:
- Physically show you or preview a property ourselves
- In-person listing presentations
- Take new property photos or videos
- Stage homes
We continue to work with Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) and Washington Realtors to adjust our business practices under the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. We will keep you updated on whether days on market (DOM) and cumulative days on market (CDOM) will be suspended (helpful for our active sellers!), if we will be able to continue with appraisals and inspections, and more.
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During this time we must remember that we are part of an incredibly complex and interconnected world. All our efforts are to ensure health and safety for everyone. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us!
Updated information about COVID-19 is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website (www.cdc.gov) and from the Washington State Department of Health’s website (www.coronavirus.wa.gov).