Coronavirus and Marin Real Estate: What Is Going On?
First and most importantly, we hope that you and your family are healthy and managing your way through this difficult time. We are doing fine, as are our three daughters. There is good news from the governor’s office that our state’s early shelter in place order is paying off. But this is still a difficult, stressful, and unprecedented time for everyone.
We also wanted to take a minute and update you on what is going on with real estate in Marin County. The one thing we know for sure is that whatever we tell you today, the situation could be entirely different tomorrow, as things continue to change without notice. We are trying to navigate state law and County ordinances (which supersede state law).
The main thing, of course, is that we want to do everything possible to maintain safety and stop the spread of the virus. Consequently, we stopped doing open houses, broker tours, and showings of any kind nearly three weeks ago, as doing so was inconsistent with the County Shelter In Place Order. Most of the brokerage firms in the County, and the Marin Association of Realtors, are now doing that, although the law changed again on Monday. This is the latest:
1. The Shelter in Place order for the entire state, and the County has been extended to May 3.
2. Real estate is now designated as an essential business, although open houses and most showings are not allowed under the order.
As noted, this situation is constantly evolving. But these are the most recent guidelines, direct from the California Association of Realtors:
- Showings should be done virtually, if at all possible.
- ·All activities should be completed electronically, if at all possible.
- Only a single agent and no more than two other individuals from the same household are to be in a dwelling at the same time during a showing. If other persons are necessary for a showing, they should wait outside or in their vehicles to observe the social distance guideline
Additionally, in Marin County, there are no showings allowed of properties if the property is occupied, at all. In other words, the only showings that can happen in Marin are at vacant properties. And that is only if a virtual showing is not possible.
So if there is a listing, and it is vacant, and the buyer is pre-approved and seriously interested, and a virtual showing won’t work (no phone signal) we can do showings with some restrictions.According to the law, it is only allowed if it is not possible to defer an already planned move, if the move is mandated by safety, sanitation, or habitability reasons, or if the move is necessary to preserve access to shelter.
Closings can and still are happening, although the numbers are down for that as well (see Market Report next for more information). Title companies are working remotely, mobile notaries can go to an individual’s home if wet signatures are required, and the County Recorder’s office is open. Money can be transferred by wire, so closings can happen with almost no physical contact.
We have several new listings coming, but since preparation work is extremely difficult under the current shelter in place law, we are stymied in getting these homes ready for market.
We are working from home and are more than happy to talk to you via phone, face time, or Zoom to discuss any questions you may have, or to make future plans. We hope to be back in the office in May, full time, assuming it is allowable and safe to do so. The current Shelter in Place order is through May 3, and with some luck things will start returning back to normal.
Stay safe, continue to social distance, and please contact us via phone (415-378-1414) or email (email@example.com) if you wish to discuss real estate, or just to say hello.