The TALK –we all know it must be done. We all know it’s a little awkward. But, we must have “the talk”. Period! Because the information is just to important. The Real Estate and Covid-19 TALK of course.
We must discuss how to have “safe showings” of a house? Here is how Ray and I do it (and the way our broker Coldwell Banker Realty encourages us to do). We have a conversation with the potential buyers. We ask the important questions about their health and contacts. We ask everyone! We take hand sanitizer and use it before we go into a home and when we leave. Only one person is allowed to touch drawers or light switches and that person is me. I must say that the people we have been working with have been more than understanding and really they have taken this very seriously. For our sellers, we call the agents that have requested showings and ask if they have had “the talk ” with their customers. I also ask if these people are pre-approved for a mortgage or do they have their proof of funds letter ready to go. This is not a time for looking at houses for fun because you can’t go to the beach. But, the big thing is also the virtual showing option. We will take videos of the houses and share live walk-throughs. That way a buyer can see it and decide if it is something they would like to see in person.
Another part of the talk needs to be about what does the real estate market look like here in Southwest Florida as the month of March 2020 comes to an end? Are people looking at houses? Are people selling houses? How do you look at houses? How do I know it’s ok to show my house?
All legit questions! And to start with positive good news. People are buying houses. Sellers are selling their houses. Interest rates are low! Let’s look at some numbers.
I ran numbers on four areas; Venice, Englewood, North Port, and the Gulf Cove area of Port Charlotte. In those areas there are currently about 1400 single family homes on the market. In the last seven days over 100 went under contract. I keep getting calls asking, “Are prices coming down?”. The housing prices prior to Covid-19 were appraising and didn’t seem to be inflated. Since the implementation of social distancing and the “safer-at- home” way of living house prices have not made a sudden change. A small percentage of single family homes have lowered their price in the last 7 days.
Real estate as an industry and Ray and I individually are adjusting the way we do business, as is everyone! We want you to know we are here and WE ARE WORKING. Ray and I have primarily worked from our home office for years. So, this has not changed our routine. Our morning commute is still going for a walk from the coffee pot to our office at home. Please call, email, or text us with your questions about the real estate market. Being armed with true facts is the best way to plan what it right for you.