Real estate in Minnesota is considered an essential service. We have been open for business through the stay at home orders. In the early days of the shutdown last March, I had listings to sell and closings to manage. It was actually pretty busy through April.
In the last week or two things have slowed. Don’t get me wrong home sales are still happening at a rapid pace but with fewer homes on the market, there are fewer listings and that means less work.
My clients who plan on buying or selling have not changed their plans but some are going to wait a while because a pandemic isn’t always the best time to buy or sell. Those who are waiting for home prices to drop will have a long wait.
Some have changed their minds about where they want to live and even how they want to live.
Like anyone who has to go out and work, I have had to think about safety and protection. I am able to easily make my own masks but it is only recently that I was able to acquire enough disposable masks so that I can give them to my clients.
It wasn’t until about a month ago that I was able to get gloves and hand sanitizer. Now I can go out and I have enough protective supplies for myself and for my clients.
Some home buyers are making offers based on pictures rather than touring the house first. We make inspection contingent offers and they tour it with the inspector. There are people who have to sell right now. Some are able to move while others have to stay home.
Sellers can put their house on the market without allowing in-person showings. That is working too.
When buyers tour houses it is one at a time and children are not allowed on private home tours. I ask my clients to wear gloves and masks and I provide them if needed. They are instructed to not touch anything.
We know that transmission of the COVID-19 virus most often happens through contact with someone who has the virus but we also know it can live on surfaces and there is always the chance it could pass from surface to human.
Right now I don’t really see an end in sight. I can not see a day when it is truly safe to have close contact with people. I will go out for necessities and I show houses in person as needed but that is about it.
Technology has made it easy to meet with people from the safety of our homes. I have logged quite a few hours on ZOOM. I have been able to see people’s houses and give them advice on how to get it ready to sell.
For me, work has really changed. I am sure it will evolve some more and I plan to evolve along with it. I learned a lot during the great recession and the crash of the housing market and have been preparing for the next recession ever since.