Asheville Real Estate and Corona Virus
As I write this on March 13th, there are no documented cases of COVID-19 in Buncombe or surrounding counties. But we all know that it is just a matter of days before that happens.
How does this change the real estate scene?
My crystal ball isn’t working, but I can tell you what I think based on nearly 19 years in the business in Asheville – none of which saw a pandemic.
- People still need to sell and buy houses, and I and my fellow agents are here to facilitate the process
- It could be a good time to buy, since some potential buyer competition will decide to postpone travel to look.
- Interest rates remain low, making this a great time to buy.
- There is still a shortage of inventory, making this a great time to sell.
- We must show and inspect homes with caution and courtesy to all parties, especially the sellers.
How Will Showing Practices Change?
There have been no guidelines or mandates from our REALTOR® associations or office ownership on how to deal with Asheville real estate and Corona Virus. Here is what I have planned at this point.
For My Buyer Clients:
- When showing homes, I will ask my buyer clients to follow me or meet me at the property in their own vehicle. This is a tough one for me, because I have always felt that it is part of the service I offer to drive my clients. It is also a great time to get to know each other and to discuss the houses and process. But for everyone’s safety (my 89 year old mother lives with me), I think an abundance of caution is in order.
- When I open and close the door and lockbox to a house, I will wipe it before and after with disinfectant wipes.
- I will remind myself and my clients not to touch anything as we look through the house.
- I have a small stash of hand-sanitizer in my car which I will share as long as it lasts.
For My Seller Clients:
- I will confirm with my seller clients that they are comfortable with people coming into their home. There is no way to screen potential buyers as possible carriers of any illness. With vacant homes, of course, this won’t be a concern.
- As we are experiencing warmer weather, it might be helpful for sellers to air out their homes after showings. Even better if windows are open throughout the day.
- I will leave Clorox wipes (when they are again available) at the door of each of my occupied listings, and, if possible, hand sanitizer readily available (that horse may have already left the stable). Maybe in a week or two these products will be available again.
- I will quiz home inspectors and appraisers about their possible exposure and symptoms of illness before they visit the house.
I am certainly open to other suggestions for navigating this unprecedented situation.
While being as cautious as possible, I feel that life must go on. People need to buy and sell homes, and we can still make this happen with as little risk as possible of spreading germs.
Tips for protecting yourself and others from the Corona Covid-19 Virus here.