They say the situation is fluid.
Frederick, Md (KM) The real estate profession is considered an essential service in Maryland under the Governor’s Executive Order, and can remain open. But Jay Day, the owner of Jay Day Real Estate Teams, says the situation for many local companies is very fluid. “What may be allowed today may not be allowed tomorrow. It may not be allowed after 5:00 today. We don’t know. We’re sorta living in the moment of what we’re capable and able to do,” he says
The real estate business require a lot of human contact, and that’s not always possible during the COVID-19 crisis as people are urged to stay at least six feet apart to keep from possibly spreading the virus. Days says at one point, realtors were not allowed to physically show homes to customers, and photographers couldn’t take pictures of homes on the market. “However, there’s still a fear factor that’s out there from buyers and sellers. that are afraid to have people in their homes, or buyers afraid to go out and look at homes.”
Day says his company uses a lot of high technology to show and sell homes. “So we rolled out a virtual home buyer program. For people who use us we have a program we can do a closing without people leaving their homes, the inspections, everything,” he says.
The company has been using drone footage tours of neighborhoods, and virtual walk-throughs of homes. But high tech has its limits. “People are buying a home, not a house. And they want to be able feel it, touch it, see it, and right not we’re suppose to do any of those things, except see. And that’s only part of the equation,” Day says.
The coronavirus emergency has caused the economy to come to a halt, and Day says that affects the real estate industry. “People have lost their jobs. They were under contract to purchase a home, but they are now unemployed,” he said. “There’s just a massive amount of different things that are happening that’s impacting real estate here locally in Maryland.”
Day says the homes his company put on the market since the pandemic are under contract.
But even after the economy reopens, Days it may be a while before consumers are able to buy a home, and for some, that might mean how long will it take for them to find jobs. “Are people going to be employed at the rate they employed at before?. Are they going to be able to get their mortgages?. For those did forbearance, is that going to impact them from purchasing later because it hit their credit a certain way,” he asks.
By Kevin McManus