Dear Friends,

With the recent stay at home orders, many are wondering how the real estate market will continue during these uncertain times. Realtors are able to perform their duties as the industry was added to the list of essential services. With all of this going on, we are continuing to keep our business going with some changes that will ensure the safety of our clients as well as ourselves. Our goal for our team is to ensure our clients’ needs and goals are met. The stats are in for Q1 and they remain strong. National reports indicate that this is a health crisis and not a housing crisis. Please see our new guidelines below and reach out to us if you have questions or concerns.

At this time, we will not be conducting open houses. We are adding virtual tours to all our listings so buyers can get a feel of “walking” through your home understanding the space and flow. We will continue to use professional photography to capture the unique features of your home and focus on details that are unique to your house that a virtual tour may not reflect. We will continue to highlight your home on our social media platforms as well as our website. Our goal is to actively market to the buyers that are shopping on-line as we have found that most buyers have been doing so for well up to a year prior to contacting a broker. This will also help capture those out of state buyers since the Washington metro area offers consistent employment. Finally, we will always be available to answer all of the inquiries we receive about your home you can count on that!

Offering a pre-inspection report to buyers may be a valuable thing to do right now. Generally speaking, this was usually left up to the buyer to perform their own due diligence after the home went under contract. We are recommending that sellers take this on themselves prior to listing the home. Although this is an expense usually not placed on the seller, it could potentially help you save money and time down the road. Money because you are now in the driver seat regarding negotiating over inspection items and time because buyers generally tend to terminate contracts during the inspection time period. By offering the buyer a home inspection report out of the gate and prior to them making an offer they can feel comfortable waiving the inspection moving you that much closer to the closing table with less risk. Inspectors prefer not to have anyone in the home during the time of the inspection so offering a pre-inspection report may work better for the buyer and could be an attractive option that other sellers are not providing. This is important too as it will limit the number of people in your home, keeping you and your family safer.

The new guidelines recommend that home appraisers do “desk” appraisals or drive-by appraisals as much as possible. Limiting the number of people in and out of your homes and keeping everyone safe is the goal. There are some exceptions to this depending on the type of financing the buyer has (FHA, VA, RD, etc.). The quality photos and video tours we use are becoming increasingly important in aiding appraisers to do their job remotely.

In many towns, showings continue to happen while following the new guidelines. Booties, gloves, masks, and sanitizing wipes are being used. Buyers are limiting the homes to only the ones they really want to see. We are going in ahead of buyers and using FaceTime to make sure they want to go inside the homes. Buyers are able to go in and do a tour if they feel the home is a good fit for them.

The bottom line is the way we practice real estate has changed we are continuing to do our job. There are still buyers and sellers in the market, inventory continues to be low and prices remain stable. 

Please call us if you have any questions and stay safe! 

Sheri, Susan, Karie, & Lesley