Hello to all of our friends, valued clients, and blog readers. We hope that you are all healthy and able to stay positive and sane through this crazy time. We thought we would give you an update on our business and about how COVID-19 is affecting the real estate market and industry as a whole. We are taking direction and guidance from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Oregon Association of Realtors (OAR), and the Central Oregon Association of Realtors (COAR).
At this time, Governor Kate Brown is allowing Real Estate Brokers to conduct business on a restricted basis, which means social distancing and keeping in-person contact to a minimum. It has been strongly encouraged that client meetings take place over the phone or virtually whenever possible. The Total Real Estate Group physical office is closed and we have set up workstations in our home offices. Our weekly office meetings have been taking place via video teleconferencing, sometimes in pajamas. (Hey, don’t judge!)
Showing property to buyers is still possible. We are driving separately from our clients and using hand sanitizer before entering each and every home, ensuring that we and our clients touch as little as possible, and we sanitize again after leaving. We limit the number of clients in the home to ensure we can always remain 6 feet apart. For those buyers that are not comfortable or are unable to enter a home, Facetime and video walk-throughs have worked really well and we’ve had fun with those. Because in-person open houses have been placed on hold, we’re focusing more on “Virtual Open Houses”. For our listings, in addition to professional photography we are showcasing our homes by including Matterport 3D tours or video walk-throughs. This gives buyers the chance to virtually tour the home without setting foot inside.
For our investor clients, there are now several restrictions in place that affect landlords. If you are thinking of selling a property with a tenant in place, we strongly recommend that you contact an attorney to seek legal counsel on how best to proceed during this time. OAR has a helpful summary: COVID-19 Information Affecting Landlords
As of today, we’re still seeing new listings hit the market, albeit at a much slower pace than the previous 2 weeks. Because many sellers are delaying formally listing in MLS at this time, we’re seeing an increase in pocket listings and shadow inventory. Homes are still going pending but again, at a slower clip. With travel restrictions in place, it seems that the buyers actively making offers are local buyers. Stay tuned for a more in-depth post with 1st quarter 2020 statistics.
Now more than ever, it’s important to work with a team that has longevity and in-depth knowledge of not only the Bend real estate market, but also the ever-changing regulations and guidelines. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to discuss the market. Please stay home and stay safe.