Friday, April 24, 2020

We are Still Doing Real Estate in Washington

Real Estate is still alive in Washington State. Governor Inslee has provided guidelines as well as a few mandates for the Real Estate industry. Seller may still list their homes for sale, Realtors® can still show them. We have some operational adjustments to ensure we do not spread the virus around and that's fair and good.

I have noticed that both buyers and sellers have slowed down of decided to wait out the pandemic. That may be fine and well but I believe that buyers and sellers should only do that if they want to do that and not because they think the Governor said they can't. Governor Inslee has provided a pathway for real estate to continue to operate under the pandemic control measures he has in place.

I have seen a roughly equal loss of buyers and sellers so the market conditions remain neutral and pricing is stable. This is a still a good time to buy or sell your home. Banks are still lending money and closings are still happening. I just closed a transaction for a seller that has greatly enhanced their retirement plans as they got an opportunity to get into a senior retirement place they have been waiting for. Don't let COVID-19 disrupt your retirement, moving or any real estate plans, we can still help people with all their real estate needs.

Stay healthy, follow that social distancing, and soon we will all be able to move towards a more normal lifestyle.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Let's Keep Up the Good Work, Almost there...

COVID-19 is hopefully starting its backward slide and that means the Governor will be able to look closely at softening the stay home restrictions imposed until May 4th here in the Evergreen State.

Home buyers and home owners looking to sell will be happy to see at least a slight softening on the COVID-19 response and I think Governor Inslee may be feeling the same. I guess we will just have to see in the coming weeks.

I am not seeing a slide in prices or any kind of real estate adjustment and I still believe that is largely due to the fact that both the supply side and the demand side are slower so the overall market seems steady.

Locally as Realtors® we can still show homes but have to follow strict guidelines including limiting people in the house and using sanitation and distancing guidelines. i take that part very seriously and understand we must try and keep this thing from having a relapse.

Buyers can and should make an offer on any house they like as the seller will likely try to accommodate them. Everyone is a bit edgy about the future. People are thinking how long is this going on? will I keep my job? These types of thing and seller are worried about that too. Will this buyer still have a job when the loan is done?

Hopefully we can start getting a large chunk of the workforce back on the job and some of this can subside. We will likely have a quasi-normal at best summer as this thing will lurk in the background as we prepare for a possible resurgence in the fall.

Get ready the pent up demand for real estate might be unleashed tsunami style if things start to improve heading into May.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Steady as she goes, Captain

Throughout all the doom and gloom COVID 19 this and that, the local real estate market chugs along. Volume is way down but it is down on both sides of the market, supply is down and demand is down and it seems in a nearly equal fashion.

Prices are holding steady and the market will survive this providing we can get back to work in May. I am holding out hope that the Governor here in Washington State will hold the line at the current "stay home" mandate till May 4th and then relax things so people can return to some sense of normality as well as normal income flow.

Everything set on the shoulders of america's governors and the Feds as they decide whether to extend the "crisis" or put us back to work. Stay tuned America, this is big.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Governor Modifies and Clarifies Executive Order

Here in Washington State, Governor Inslee made a few modifications to the Executive Order "Stay Home" originally issued last week. The governor modified the real estate profession requirements to allow limited showings and generally loosened up the industry restrictions during the "stay home" order. He also made some "clarifications" about the construction industry that has sent home the majority of construction industry workers. Construction is effectively shut down as of now except for critical infrastructure and emergency projects.

I appreciate the governor giving some latitude to real estate but I think some of that latitude should be extended to the construction trades as well. I am familiar with construction activities and most construction projects have workers space at 6 feet or further 90% of the time and the systems in place could be modified by project managers to gain 100% compliance.

I do not envy the position of the president or any of our state governors as they have to make important decisions that can be a matter of life and death as well as the cause economic calamities. I still believe the governor is a bit heavy handed here with the COVID-19 response. Now this is an important and dangerous situation so I am not of the mind to suggest the governor should not have taken decisive action, in fact to the contrary, I think he had to. But the economy is also import as it is the lifeblood for healthcare, well being, and ultimately funds the government's operations.

Governor Inslee needs to keep as many people employed as possible in any position that can honor the 6 foot distancing. Where the governor can be heavy handed is in the enforcement of that 6 foot rule and any other COVID-19 mandates. Project managers do not want to face heavy fines or a shutdown over workers failing to comply, so site supers would be more than willing to crack down and keep everyone safe.

Factories and other operations where stations are close, could be modified to run half ops with half the stations closed and other modifications to the systems to keep workers employed should be considered. Even restaurants could have been open with 1/3 to 1/2 cap restrictions but I know that is unlikely to be approved.

The bottom line is that buyers and sellers can still execute their transactions and the governor is to be commended for seeing that real estate procedures can be modified to comply with the government safety mandate for COVID-19. Irregardless of one's personal political views, we should all support the governors of every state as they try and deal with this difficult situation. This is not the time for petty politics.