Video Meetings are the New Norm

We are now doing virtual meetings and tours. Instead of Broker’s Tours we are doing Zoom meetings where all the agents talk about their listings and show photos. During our Zoom Broker’s Tour today we conducted a survey of all the agents. Here are the results:

  • 57% of Buyers have decided not to buy right now. 31% say their buyers are still looking actively.
  • 63% of agents say their buyers are doing in-person showings
  • 38% of agents say they’ve gotten into contract during this time
  • 69% say their sellers have delayed a listing
  • 38% are seeing listings staying on the market longer. The rest aren’t sure
  • 50% of agents are now pricing transparently
  • 13% of listings have gotten multiple offers
  • When asked where agents expect the final price of current listings to be it was very mixed. 19% said about the same as before SIP, 22% said 1-5% less, 25% said 5-10% less, 6% said more than 10 % and 38% said too soon to tell.

What is Essential?

While some agents and stagers are staging, our local Association says it is not an essential business and we shouldn’t be doing it. Photographers, Home inspectors, and appraisers are allowed. BESO in Berkeley, and the Sidewalk Ordinance in Oakland are still enforced. Sewer Lateral inspections are allowed. Oakland Permit offices aren’t open, but you can call or email them. If we have any service providers entering a property (home/pest inspector, plumber, etc.) we must also have any service providers entering a property sign the PEAD (Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration). Escrow offices are not open but are working remotely and signings are taking place with mobile notaries.

Showing Properties

The Coronavirus protocols are strictly enforced:

  • House must be vacant
  • Agents and buyers must submit a PEAD form (Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory) before entering property
  • Only pre-qualified buyers
  • Buyers and agents must review inspections prior to viewing
  • All buyers view pictures first.
  • Only 3 people (2 Family members, 1 agent) at a time practicing social distancing.
  • Nobody can use the facilities in the home.
  • Anyone entering must wear gloves & booties.

We can list a property for sale. Agents are doing Virtual Open House where they walk thru the home and describe the features. This makes it so easy for a buyer to check out a home before they make the big step to arrange an actual viewing.

Is It Hard to Get A Mortgage?

Rates are amazing right now and lenders don’t expect that to change for a while. It’s very important to get pre-qualified now. It’s best to do the paperwork upfront while you have the time. When things open up and there is competition having a full approval will help to get your offer accepted. Lenders are getting a bit stricter on loan terms.

Rules keep changing on a daily basis. We are all wondering if there will be a limited lifting of the Shelter In Place. Agents. are working toward May 3rd as being a time that some restrictions will be lifted but we know how we behave going forward will be changed by this virus. I will continue to keep you updated on what’s going on in our local Real Estate.


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