Despite the economic shutdown resulting from the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, The Steller Group is still hard at work! Nearly all of our pre-COVID-19 transactions are continuing through to completion. We continue to have homes going under contract, but at a much slower rate than what we experienced pre-COVID-19. Many of our clients who were scheduled to go to market during this time have chosen to wait until we are through this crisis and sell when the market again returns to a somewhat normal environment. Similarly, many of our buyers who were out house shopping and were not in an urgent situation have also chosen to wait out the stay-at-home order and start looking once the order is lifted.
What does real estate look like now? Per Colorado’s Attorney General, no active marketing including photos, staging, etc., is allowed on any properties, and no showings are allowed whatsoever unless there is an executed contract in place. The stay-at-home order allows for transactions to continue through completion, including inspections, appraisals, and walkthroughs. As a result, some buyers who are in a more urgent position can contract on a house based on a virtual tour of the home, then proceed with the contract through to completion.
We are all waiting for this to pass. I am sure there will be a new normal, and we will have to learn to work a bit differently in the near future, but we will move forward when the time is right.
Until then, we are focused on providing guidance to our future clients, navigating this everchanging market with our current clients, and striving to successfully close those clients who are under contract.
As stated in a prior blog, our business is now operating remotely. Zoom has become our primary means of communication as a company, just like everyone else it seems!
Our efforts to live by the order include the following protocols:
- Our office building is open on a limited basis during regular business hours, but our agents and staff are working out of their own homes and coming into the office on an as-needed basis.
- We are engaging with our clients via phone calls and video conferencing to limit our in-person contact as we answer questions, discuss the market, plan future moves, and review contracts.
- All of our active listings now include 3D tours making homes easier to view and “walk through” online.
- Open houses and showings altogether are prohibited unless a home is under contract.
- Real estate closings have shifted to “principal parties only” to limit the number of people together at any given time and allow for social distancing.
- As of March 30, 2020, notaries are now authorized to notarize remotely, meaning people no longer must be in the physical presence of a notary. Systems are actively being developed to facilitate the use of remote notaries, and approval from underwriters is necessary.
- All tours of our new West Colfax Circa West condominium are now virtual (www.circawestdenver.com/residences).
- All of our contracts and transaction management have been electronic for years, so our systems are and will continue to be streamlined, efficient, and safe.
We wish all of you a safe and healthy spring and continue to pray that this pandemic will end swiftly. Please feel free to call 720-593-9355 if we can be of any assistance.