Real Estate in a Pandemic

Having been a licensed Oregon Realtor since 1987, I kinda thought I’d seen it all, but then what do you know? A Pandemic happens. I had no idea what to expect. I think mostly I was worried. How do you sell houses in a pandemic? Well, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The market is booming.

As I pointed out in this week’s market activity report, out of 20 closed sales last week, 6 sold OVER the asking price and 4 sold AT the asking price. That’s 50% of what sold. Then look at the fact that 13 properties went on the market and 31 went pending. That is a classic scenario of supply not meeting demand. This creates bidding and competitive buying.

In this environment, how do Realtors keep everyone safe? Everyone is paying attention. National Association of Realtors, the Oregon Association of Realtors, and my company, Oregon First, have all given pretty strict protocols. At a minimum everyone must wear masks and socially distance. The next step is to talk to our clients. Find out their concerns and what their preferences are. If a person has health issues that put them at higher risk, we can take the procedures further. This includes wearing gloves, wiping down surfaces, having the listing agent meet Realtors with their clients at the front door and give instructions that they may not touch anything. If they want to see inside a cupboard, ask and the listing agent will open the cupboard. I showed a house on Sunday in which my clients and I did not touch one single surface or knob. It went smoothly.

I am asking my clients to wear masks but then I am also providing single use plastic gloves. I put them out at the entrance to my listings and I carry them in my car for my buyers. It is one pair for each house so that we don’t cross contaminate between properties. I felt pretty lucky when I found 2000 pairs for about 40 bucks. I am prepared!

I also provide booties to cover shoes. However, I don’t make them keep the booties on going up stairs that are not carpeted. Those booties can be slippery on stairs.

What I am not doing is sharing my car with my clients or holding open houses.

I really want to assure you that Realtors are working very hard to keep everyone safe in a time when the demand for housing is so high. There may be a pandemic but it’s a great time to buy or sell a house.

As always, thanks for reading the blotter,