This is certainly an unprecedented time in our, and everyone’s, industry! While in this position we felt it would be a good chance for us to update you on what we are seeing in the market, and what we see happening when this situation comes to an end.
2020 started with a bang and has continued into March. Total Residential Sales in La Plata County for 2020 are up 7% over 2019 (191 vs 178 sales). March of 2020 is up 23% from 2019 (70 vs. 57 sales). This trend is obviously going to change in April, and even more so in May. Our prediction is that April will have decent numbers, as there are a number of transactions already in-process and still anticipated to close early in the month. Assuming the stay at home order is lifted in mid-April, it will be May and June when we see the brunt of the virus impact as very few contracts are likely to be written in April. We expect the market to rebound quickly once this all settles out, but obviously the longer it takes to return to normal the longer it will take to fully recover. Our hope is that with everyone’s efforts to stay home and stay healthy, it will not last much beyond April.
In the Governor’s most recent update to the public health order, real estate (and other services that support it, i.e., title companies, lenders, banks, etc.) was deemed critical but we are changing some of our operational standards to comply with the health order. This is encouraging since it will allow properties requiring bank financing to proceed to closing.
Many of you have questions regarding upcoming showings, inspections, appraisals, closings, etc. As it stands today, we are not encouraging showings until the stay at home order is lifted on April 11th. Once lifted, we will be discussing new showing protocols with buyers and sellers. Inspections and appraisals are considered critical and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Our team will work with homeowners to ensure proper safety measures are in place prior to entering any home. As discussed above, title companies are still performing closings. Currently documents are emailed for electronic signatures, and curbside signings are being offered for documents requiring notarization. With curbside service, a Notary Public observes the clients while signing then takes the papers into the title company, notarizes the documents, and scans them into the system for distribution.
Our thoughts are with the community, both local and worldwide, as we navigate this uncertain time. We encourage you to support each other and wish you the best in staying well. Our team is all working and available. As always, we are here to answer any real estate questions you may have and offer our support!