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The changing landscape of real estate--from sellers to buyers to movers--amid the pandemic

Posted at 12:54 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 12:57:03-04

All eyes are on the housing market these days, as everyone is watching and waiting to see what effect this pandemic will have on home prices. The coronavirus has changed nearly every aspect of the way realtors do business.

Armed with her disinfectant and face mask, this is how Eunice Oh shows homes.

Everyone who steps inside the property has to sign a waiver acknowledging the stay-at-home order in California. Oh says the way they do their job is changing by the minute.

“It honestly changes day-to-day and week-to-week, and even in the area you’re in,” she said.

There are no more open houses, and flyers offering open houses are a thing of the past. There are also no more client appreciation events. All of that has gone virtual. There are still a lot of homes out there, and people are going in to escrow, but Oh says there are also a lot of cancelations.

"There's a lot of cancellations, you know, the lending is not working out for a lot of people,” she explained.

Agents and lenders are taking a hard look at the profession you're in and if it's sustainable.

“A lot of homes are going off the market, too, just because you know people are scared,” she said. “Some are choosing to hold off until everything is more stable.”

But if it's your time to move, it's your time.

Jimmy and Erin Palacios were in escrow when the stay-at-home order went in place. While home prices were higher when they bought, there was also a low inventory.

“A home is a long-term investment, and as long as you plan on keeping it for a while, home prices are going to appreciate,” said Erin Palacios. “It’s always a good investment. You’ll get your money back eventually. You just have to ride it out.”

They admit that moving during the COVID19 pandemic is not easy. The actual move is taking weeks instead of days, and no one can have any contact. The once simple appliance purchase and delivery now involves multiple phone calls and multiple vendors.

“The appliance will be delivered to the curb, but they’re not willing or able to do the installation,” said Jimmy Palacios. “And then, we have to contact a separate company to come and do the installation.”

But, it's worth it, to keep everyone involved in the process safe.