Tuesday, March 31, 2020

COVID-19 AND OUR SCCL REAL ESTATE MARKET

4/3/2020
The latest Amendment to Stay at Home Order Regarding Residential Brokerage says " In-person showings of homes for sale or rentals on the market are restricted to vacant property only."

3/30/2020
While these orders are for Mecklenburg County, Helen Adams Realty is following these orders for all offices.  Remember, as noted previously (scroll down for earlier postings), I am ALWAYS available to talk to you! Don't hesitate to call, email, or text me. I would be happy to conduct conversations by FaceTime. Anyone considering listing or purchasing a home, know that we can use all the great technology available to take care of your needs.

Please scroll down for the latest data on showings here in Sun City Carolina Lakes.  Also, use tab above for UP-TO-DATE STATS FOR SCCL.  I update this information daily. 

The following are amendments to the proposed Detailed Plan of Action, originally included in the April 1, 2020, correspondence from the Canopy Realtor® Association and Canopy MLS and expand on the Clarification and Guidance issued on March 28, 2020 regarding Allowable and Prohibited Transactions with respect to Real Estate Transactions.

Allowable and Prohibited Transactions
  • Real Estate Transactions

    Prohibited Unless Virtual: Anyone looking to purchase real estate, but who has not "vested" money into a house, which could be forfeited or lost, should do it virtually only and avoid any face to face interaction with a realtor during this period. Any communication regarding the transaction should be done electronically.

    Allowed with Conditions: Those who have vested money (either by way of earnest money or mortgage loan commitments) which they could wind up losing and closing is imminent or soon to be scheduled, in order to complete the purchase and effect the closing, the following guidance should be used when completing that transaction:

    Walk-through prior to closing:
    • No more than three people may be in the residence at any given time. This allows for the realtor and up to two of the buyers.
    • Each person present must maintain Centers for Disease Control (CDC) compliance at all times in all applicable areas.
    • Practice social/physical distancing: stay at least six feet apart from other people.
    • Do not participate if you have any symptoms or fever.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your cough in your sleeve or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect any objects or surfaces touched using a regular household cleaning product.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on entering and leaving the dwelling with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol.
    • The realtor is responsible for supplying cleaning products and hand washing products.
    • Owners/sellers should not be in the residence at the time if the subject property is owner occupied.
  • Closing
    • To the extent electronic signatures may be lawfully obtained and used, choose this option to close the transaction.
    • For all face to face closings, CDC recommendations (as outlined above) should be followed.
 
3/27/2020 Update
One of my Helen Adams Realty colleagues just shared that she had a closing yesterday and everyone stayed in their cars to sign documents.  The attorney came out wearing a mask and gloves, and carrying a clipboard.  Everyone is finding ways to make things happen!

3/26/2020 Update
Starting today, all non-essential businesses in Mecklenburg County are under a "Stay at Home Order." In a message to REALTORS®, Canopy MLS CEO Anne Marie DeCatsye stated that the NC Realtors Association initial interpretation of the Stay at Home Order is that,"Real estate brokerage is NOT included as an essential business or activity. That means REALTORS® will not be allowed to conduct most business activity outside of their homes within Mecklenburg County." While SC has not yet made a similar order, best practices would suggest that REALTORS® in SC follow the same protocol. That being said, while I will not be showing property or meeting personally with current or potential clients until further notice, I am ALWAYS available to talk to you! Don't hesitate to call, email, or text me. I would be happy to conduct conversations by FaceTime. Anyone considering listing or purchasing a home, know that we can use all the great technology available to take care of your needs. 
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3/22/2020
While we are currently facing great challenges as a nation and within our local communities due to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), this is not a time to panic, but rather a time to carefully assess everything that we do and make sure we take precautions to keep ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors, and all who we come in contact with safe.  We are bombarded by news reports and FaceBook and Twitter posts with instructions on what we need to do.  We just need to do it.  Bottom line: Stay home, except for essential shopping and a healthy walk.  Keep your distance from others.  Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.  You know the drill.  Just do it.

At the time of this writing (updates will be posted above), there are no restrictions on our Real Estate market, except for limiting exposure by not holding open houses.  We are able to continue listing and showing properties, with careful precautions being taken.  To this end, Helen Adams Realty is asking Buyer's agents and their clients to be responsible guests in a Seller's home. Personally, I am comfortable allowing showings on vacant listings, but will, for the time being, hold off showings where someone resides in the home.  While walking through a home is ideal, excellent photos and virtual tours are a great way to view a home. Take advantage of this great technology and check out the photos found on MLS.

While in some areas, the Real Estate market has come to a screeching halt, there are some areas that are continuing to have activity.  Jeff Adams, President of Helen Adams Realty, shared that this past week "our firm (which has 4 offices in the greater Charlotte area, including nearby South Carolina) has taken 45 new listings and 62 new contracts." That being said, as we continue down this unknown path, Real Estate sales may be affected by the precautionary actions of inspection companies, appraisers, lenders, attorneys, counties, and municipalities. Here in Lancaster County, the Register of Deeds office was still open on Friday, but they have now posted the following at their website:
 
Please be advised that the Lancaster County Register of Deeds Office will be closed to the public effective Monday, March 23, 2020 until further notice. The only exception to this closure will be for Attorneys, Abstractors and Surveyors who must spend limited time in the office between the hours of 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Our Office will still be able to assist you with any questions by phone or email from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
 
At the time of this writing, showings have slowed down significantly in Sun City Carolina Lakes and I would assume that those people who are looking at homes right now are serious Buyers.  As of March 25, 14 properties (including single family, Carriage Homes and Villas) have gone under contract in SCCL this month, the most recent being March 24.  Click HERE for the most current stats.


Below you can see the number of showings, day-by-day, here in SCCL.  Note that typically a Buyer looks at several homes in a day, so it is possible that the numbers could be reflecting the activity of just one or two potential Buyers.  Although this is a static posting, I will update the chart below daily.  

Latest update:  4/4/2020

Each day brings new information and new challenges for each of us.  But, if we all do our part, we will hopefully discover just how capable we are and how much we can do by working together for a mutual cause.  So, let's all take this time to discover our own best selves and find many wonderful things to do as we patiently wait for this coronavirus pandemic to pass. 

Stay safe and stay healthy!

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