Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Coronavirus and Sacramento real estate...

I was interviewed by Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee a couple weeks ago about how Coronavirus was affecting the Sacramento real estate market at that time, and when the story ran in the March 7th edition of the Bee, my answer was that the real estate market was super active. I had written offers for clients, among MANY multiple offers, and at that time there was no lack of enthusiasm for real estate.

On this last Friday, I closed two transactions, and my buyers were absolutely thrilled. Instead of sharing hugs, we shared congratulatory elbow bumps instead.

Today is Saint Patrick's Day. 10 days since that article ran, and just a weekend after handing keys to excited new homeowners. I feel like a lot has happened in that time. 

But I am happy to report that I can still do my job. And so can the other professionals connected to real estate transactions in Sacramento. Realtors can still show property. Lenders can still underwrite mortgages. Appraisers can still visit properties to value them. Insurance agents can issue homeowners insurance policies. Inspectors can still inspect properties. Contractors can still make repairs. Escrow officers can still notarize loan documents. And the Sacramento County Recorders Office is still open for business to record new deeds for property change of ownership transfer.

Other parts of our state are not so fortunate. For example, some California county recorder offices have closed to the public or reduced public operating hours, which may have an impact transaction closings.

But right now in Sacramento and our surrounding counties, we can transact. I had multiple offers on my new Carmichael listing this weekend. And I wrote an offer for a buyer that was one of many on a property in Folsom. People still need to buy and sell, people still want to buy and sell, and I don't think Coronavirus changes that, though it may put a new filter on things for a while. 

A week ago I had few if any concerns about being able to close a real estate transaction. And today, we are still open for business, though some contractual nuances may take extra time. Right now, all systems are go. But we have to be deliberate with what we are doing. I emailed my active buyers these thoughts just this morning:

"If there is a home you want to see, we need to be pretty deliberate about setting showing appointments, wiping doorknobs, keeping appropriate “social distance” etc. I’m mostly working from home at this point, and luckily things like Docusign can allow us to do paperwork and a lot of our functions virtually. As of now, lending, escrow/title, appraisal, inspection, and county recorder functions are all running, so while we may have to be deliberate and might move a little slower with scheduling certain things (some of them are working from home too), we can all still do our jobs at this point. And interest rates are insanely good right now, which is a bonus. If anything in that realm changes I can let you know. I’m optimistic we can all go back to business as usual in the coming weeks. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. And while buying a house may not be your top priority at the moment, if something pops up, I’m here and healthy."

I'm super thankful to be in good health, not part of any at-risk group, and pretty well-stocked up on Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. 

This too shall pass.

No comments: