Things are changing so rapidly. Last weekend we did open houses that were well attended. The houses were vacant, and we took precautions like opening all closet and interior doors to eliminate touching. We required everyone to sanitize their hands and wear booties and asked them to refrain from coming in at all in if they had recently traveled abroad or were feeling unwell. We also limited the number of people in the house to one family at a time.
This weekend, I would not dream of doing an open house.
Each new day brings its own interesting challenges. Yesterday, a painter cancelled. If county offices close, title searches will come to a grinding halt. Tomorrow, Governor Murphy may even ask everyone to stay home.
Our current situation requires extreme flexibility, creativity and the ability to be nimble. And no amount of foresight can predict what’s next for the real estate market. We are working with our clients, buyers and sellers alike, to determine what the best way is to proceed in each scenario.
We are setting up video tours and also using a product called Matterport, which is like a 3D floor plan that lets you virtually walk through a house as you please, turning left here, going up the stairs there.
I suspect our current state of uncertainty will push the spring market into summer or perhaps fall. There may end up being a surge of home buying because of pent up demand. At this point, it’s impossible to predict anything.
In the meantime, I think people who have been tossing around the idea of selling should use this time to get their houses ready for market (whenever that may be). Clean out the garage, declutter, go through closets and donate, change your furnace and AC filters, make all the minor repairs you've been meaning to do, like fixing that dripping faucet, tightening that loose doorknob, and tending to your landscaping. Hire any tradesperson that can work on the exterior of your house, like gutter cleaners, exterior painters, landscapers, tree surgeons, power washing companies, chimney repair people and brick re-pointers. And get that darn oil tank out of the ground.
For sellers, I’m happy to do Zoom or FaceTime appointments to give direct advice on what needs to be done to get a house ready. We have two team members that can do Zoom meetings to guide people through organizing and decluttering.
For buyers, screen houses that you may want to visit by first asking if there are any virtual tours or Matterport tours available and if not, ask the agent to do a FaceTime walkthrough of the house for you.
Our top priority, as always, is to make buying or selling as safe and stress-free as possible. Call or text to chat about how we can work together creatively in these new circumstances. (973) 809-5277