All Things Real Estate: What is happening right now and what will the new norm in real estate look like going forward?

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Well, I’ve been somewhat homebound like the majority of us have been for the past four weeks and I have gained approximately 18 lbs so far but working out has been part of my focus, (besides calling my current and former clients to stay in touch) so I think more muscle has been developed than fat thus far.

Hopefully, I will look great this summer, but will our pools, beaches or anything else re-open? It’s a huge unknown and I try to stay positive and hope for the best, but we also don’t want the COVID-19 coronavirus to raise its’ ugly head and ramp up once again after accomplishing flattening and the curve and minimizing the virus.

We have had the greatest number of infections and the most deaths globally and we can argue the pros and cons of what should have and could have been done in advance, but I will not argue either way this point but reserve my opinion for another day and stay impartial, but I do have my own thoughts and ideas on the subject.

I am here to assist, help, guide and educate as many sellers, investors, purchasers and renters of residential and commercial properties as possible, through the complicated and sometimes arduous process of real estate going forward into the future. What will the process look like and how will we as Brokers and salespeople handle this “new norm” of doing business during and after the COVID-19 Corona Virus debacle?

It’s anyone’s guess!

Currently, we are in a whole new paradigm shift and so much is unknown since I believe some rules and regulations will have to change and be updated in the process of showing property, having inspections and appraisals executed; while at the same time making sure all parties are protected from becoming infected?

Part of the obvious solution has been and will absolutely be getting everyone tested, which is currently falling way short of what would and should have been done. By doing this it will keep everyone aware of who is infected (maybe with a colored wristband) but maybe asymptomatic and don’t get sick as well as those that could be severely infected and become ill after the 14 day incubation period.

This will be a very proactive way to minimize and prevent the spread to everyone around them now and in the future. It’s all about the testing and social distancing.

It’s a scary situation especially for those who have compromised immune systems or those who have specific health issues. Most importantly, what about the 65 percent of our population in the U.S. that are considered overweight or obese and surely not considered very healthy.

What will be our exposure and liability in the real estate process? There is a clause in our business liability policy that excludes viruses and infectious diseases and pandemic events, and even if there aren’t, I am quite sure, all insurance companies will have an addendum or rider to their policies going forward that will exempt them from any liability from those situations.

They generally want the money going in one direction, into their bank accounts unless you fight with them! However, I left a message with our carrier inquiring to see if anything is available or would exist to cover agents, but I pretty much doubt it.

Showing and having buyers purchase via 3-D virtual tours maybe the “new norm” for the foreseeable future and sellers and buyers may have to conform to this type of transaction and why not?

The buyers can go in with the agent, with the proper PPE-(personal protective equipment) eg. N95 masks, surgical gloves and disinfectant wipes during the inspection, which can take from 45 minutes to 2-3 hours depending on the square footage of the home and of course, before the contract is signed, checking everything out.

Anyway, most buyers don’t spend more than 10-15 minutes maximum viewing homes, so this will be a superb opportunity to take their time and really see the property.

The agent could or would be the only one responsible for opening and closing all doors, cabinets, and touching everything. I feel for now this will be the new way to do our showings.

The clients and agents will need to slowly adjust and not worry, since if the 3-D virtual tours are done professionally, and right now there isn’t any photoshopping allowed by D.O.S. and MLS rules, (otherwise, a huge fine would be imposed and maybe the loss of one’s license) the buyer would still have the opportunity to back out if the tour wasn’t as accurate and did not depict the home as what the buyer eventually saw before signing the contract.

Later on, an appraisal would be done, and again, with the same rules in place and only the agent will be the one opening and closing everything and not the appraiser, or purchaser who in the past was never present at the appraisal, but just might want to be there for a second time.

So many situations will change and those that are still in the business will have to conform and follow whatever new guidelines will come done the pike from the Department of State, as well as the local MLS’s and the National Association of Realtors.

For sure, “big brother” will be watching and it will be up to the professionals in our industry to go with the flow and change as needed to get the job done in a professional and trusted manner and doing what is necessary to earn a living.

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and also as a Certified International Property Specialist. For a consultation, he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com to answer any of your questions, concerns or column suggestions and ideas.

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