How Coronavirus affected Real Estate? The coronavirus has changed the way we live our daily lives and it has upended myriad business sectors, including the New York real estate market. Brokers, buyers, and sellers are trying mightily to do business when it’s anything but business as usual.
Open houses are being eliminated, or at least limited; brokers are doing FaceTime apartment tours for clients who are concerned about being out. And, in the suburbs, they’re struggling to find short term rentals for clients who feel the walls and everything else closing in on them in the city. Let’s see what The New York Times is saying.
Do you have to be worry?
Restrictions on open houses now range from limits on frequency and duration to required preregistration to full-on bans in some buildings. Prospective buyers should be prepared to swap their shoes for booties before they start counting closets and to keep their (sanitized) hands to themselves.
Even a week ago, before many businesses and schools closed, a survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 25 percent of sellers nationwide had already changed the terms of engagement with prospective buyers because of the virus. New requirements include a stop at a hand-washing station, at the very least, a liberal spritz of hand sanitizer. In some instances, buyers are being asked to leave their shoes at the door and don booties. And they’re often discouraged from touching kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
What Real Agents are telling us?
Denae Montesi, a sales agent at William Raveis NYC, is punctilious about being the one to open and close the front door. She keeps as firm a grip on her iPad as she does on the doorknob, signing in prospective buyers at open houses rather than letting them do it themselves. Other brokers have chosen to go old school: they provide pens, wiping them down after each use, or simply invite attendees to keep them.
Some sellers and brokers are requiring prospective attendees to preregister for open houses. “That way we can call them and assess their interest,” Ms. Montesi said. “If they’re just coming to educate themselves about the market this isn’t the best time. The feeling is the fewer bodies the better.”
If the goal is sparse attendance, that goal is being realized. Some buildings and sellers have put the kibosh on open houses altogether — a big shift for New Yorkers who have long appreciated the ease and efficiency of hitting three open houses on one weekend day.