Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - by Brandi Pearl Thompson, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
Real estate is still happening— People still want to buy and sell. Yet, certain precautions are needed to keep the market and consumers healthy. This means that realtors and others involved with real estate need to “think outside of the box.” Luckily, we have a number of tools at our disposal to help navigate this tricky time.
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen an uptick in “virtual showings,” which is where an agent will arrange a time to video chat with a client and perform a walk through of the property, stopping to point out the various features. This is obviously a great way to minimize the risk of meeting with many people face to face.
These are certainly unprecedented times. Even so, people still need a place to live. People are still being relocated to our area and need a place to live. In the meantime, it is imperative the realtors continue to work with their clients to assist in their home buying needs.
This week, we wrote our elected officials asking that they declare real estate services as an “essential businesses” to the economy. The ability to close real estate transactions includes certain requirements and deadlines and the impact, both on the lives and finances of property owners, is substantial and can be avoided if essential services are allowed to continue.
Our association is asking that real estate services be included as an important and essential part of our local workforce and that buyers and sellers who have made all of the logistical and financial preparations to move into their new homes, be allowed to do so.
In fact, to further diminish the risk of COVID-19, our Board of Directors and MLS Committee are strongly discouraging in-person open houses during this time of social distancing. We are discussing with our clients other methods and technologies to market properties and precautions to help keep our local market, as well as you and your clients, healthy.
We couldn’t say it better than the National Association of Realtors, “Consider how you (realtor members) may continue providing first-class services to clients, while also exemplifying realtors as community leaders by demonstrating care for the health and well-being of clients, colleagues and the greater public welfare in reducing the risk of exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19.”
We’re all seeing that we must take precautions to keep not only ourselves, but those that we love and work with safe. And so, if you’re looking to buy or sell your home, do it. Reach out to us. We can make arrangements to help you secure that property even in uncertain times. Check www.gcar.net/covid-19 for updates and additional resources. We work to find solutions for our clients and community. That’s Who We R.