Realty in the time of COVID-19

Dear Jan: We are ready to list our home. Will the coronavirus have any impact on the marketability of our home? MMB

Dear MMB: These are trying times for all. Here are my thoughts:

Interest rates are at a historic low. This will bring out buyers who will be able to afford more home for their dollars. However, the rates are changing daily so this could go the opposite way. Since Washington now has the “stay home” order, there are less buyers out shopping for homes. This means less competition for the buyers who are looking and able to buy now. The NWMLS issued a bulletin canceling all open houses for the public and broker to broker open houses. Therefore, the only way to see a home is to call a broker. Yes, brokers are exempt from the “stay home” order because there are legal ramifications for buyers and sellers (someone could actually end up homeless). However, the governor has placed us under very strict protocol. We cannot have passengers in our cars. When we meet at the home, only two people are allowed in the home at any one time. The broker and one buyer. If there are multiple buyers, they must trade out, adhering to the two only rule. Of course, social distancing, masks, gloves and shoe covers are a part of staying safe. As always, the best time to sell your home is when it is right for you. If you need to be on the market, call a local broker who can show it. If a home is vacant there is no reason to not go see it. If it is occupied, your broker will ask the seller to please turn on all lights as they leave and to sanitize as they exit the home. The sellers still need to sell, they want you to visit their home. I have been asked how this is going to affect prices. Good crystal ball question. It will be interesting to see. What I do know for sure is that we are blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest, what a great place to be quarantined and call home. Best wishes with your sale.

— Jan

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