You don’t need me to tell you that these are unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has a wide-reaching impact on virtually all parts of our lives.
One area worth checking in on is the U.S. real estate market. Before the rise of this pandemic, there were some positive signs regarding the health of the market. But now, there are understandably some signs of the market slowing down. A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors found that nearly half of all Realtors are reporting decreased home buyer interest. The National Association of Homebuilders is also telling members to expect delays due to “supply chain disruption, workforce unavailability, and even permitting due to shelter-in-place recommendations.”
This of course has a huge impact on mobility programs. The NAR has some good guidance (see below) for agents, including a suggestion to hold virtual open houses in situations where sellers would like to move ahead.
Like with basically everything these days, this is all fluid, so it’s advisable to look for regular updates from groups such as the NAR, NAHB and others in the real estate industry.
Speak openly and honestly with your seller about the pros and cons of holding an open house. Assess the risk based on your specific location, and direct your clients to local and state health authorities for specific information about the severity of the risk in your area. You could also propose alternative marketing opportunities for your seller's consideration, such as video tours and other methods to virtually tour a property.