During the global pandemic of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, many individuals, small businesses, and large corporations alike are having to suspend their goods and services as much of the world shelters in place. Hopefully, this helps these frightening times end more quickly. However, some businesses are considered “essential” and need to keep operating in order for our lives to continue without irreparable damage. Grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and other brick and mortar locations provide things that can’t simple be stopped and are therefor exempt from any shutdown restrictions imposed by local governments.
Among these businesses is an industry that might be overlooked as essential in times like this: real estate. Florida Realtors, the state’s largest trade association, points out that “Life’s basic needs are food, water and a roof over your head, which makes real estate an essential service.” And last week, Christopher Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) put out a memorandum designating “real estate services” to be among the United States’ “critical infrastructure.”
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions many people make in their lives. It’s an opportunity to move into – not just a new building – but a new phase, a new lifestyle, and a completely new chapter in your story. Many families spend a long time deciding when to purchase a new home, waiting for the right market, or for milestones like changing jobs or getting a promotion, or for a new child to be born, or for older children to move out and begin their own lives. These are big life events that come naturally and won’t wait. Oftentimes delaying your home sale or purchase can change your whole future, and when the time is right, it’s best to strike while the iron is hot. To shut down the real estate market could set many people’s lives onto an unpredictably dangerous path, where plans are upended and futures are uncertain.
“Each March, around 400,000 to 460,000 homes across the U.S. would be in pending status. Without designating real estate services as an essential service, Americans currently caught in the middle of a transaction would have no clear path on what happens with their pending legal contracts, financial commitments or – most importantly – where they will be sheltering.”
-Vince Malta, president of the National Association of Realtors
While waiting for the right market or milestone can be a major factor in your decision to move, sometimes you just see that perfect home come up in the market. When you stumble across your dream home, it speaks to you. You can feel it. And at that time, it’s best to act QUICKLY. Some homes are sold instantly, other hidden gems may remain on market for months unnoticed, then disappear in a flash. And while closing the market temporarily would keep others from snatching your dream home up from under you, the unpredictability of when it will all return may set off the timing for buyers and sellers alike, throwing more uncertainty into the process. Those perfect home/buyer pairings could be scattered, and many could miss out on perfect opportunities.
Fortunately all of this is happening at a time when it’s easier than ever to conduct real estate business digitally! Recently Governor Brian Kemp announced that Georgia official documents can be notarized and witnessed digitally through live video. Video tours of homes are already becoming more popular, and now you can experience all the wonder of a new home from the comfort and safety of your own. Hopefully this is all behind us soon! And in the meantime the best thing to do is begin your house hunting process now. By the time we narrow down your search and move into the next stage, you could be steps ahead of other buyers and get the best deal possible! Contact me today and let’s start looking!