Here’s what I’m doing in my business to protect my clients, myself, other Realtors and their clients, and our community against the spread of coronavirus.
We are all concerned about controlling the spread of coronavirus in our communities, around the country and around the world. We are all making sacrifices to reduce the likelihood of contracting or spreading the virus and #FlattenTheCurve. However, many people still have a need to be active in the real estate market. Some buyers are facing an expiring lease, or must reinvest the proceeds from a prior sale to avoid unwanted tax consequences. Some sellers are forced to move because their jobs are taking them to a new town or new state, while others have moved to assisted living facilities and must sell their home to cover the costs. Whatever the reason, I have found that some people need to buy or sell even at this difficult time.
So, here are the steps I’m taking in my business to protect against the spread of coronavirus:
- If the sellers are living in the house, all showings are by appointment only, and I am present for each showing to ensure compliance with the steps below (and I will keep my distance while the visitors are in the house).
- Wearing my own disposable gloves and shoe covers, I turn on all the lights in the house prior to the scheduled visit, and turn off the lights after the visit, in order to reduce the need for others to touch the switches.
- I give every visitor disposable gloves and shoe covers to where during their visit, and provide a trash can at the front door for proper disposal. This will give comfort to the seller that the guests are not tracking any infection into the house, and they will be touching doorknobs, cabinets and drawers with gloves, not their bare hands. This will also allow visitors to open doors, cabinets and drawers with less worry about coming in contact with the virus.
- I wipe down all doorknobs, counters, faucets and light switches after the guests leave the house.
- Open Houses – Following the recommendation of the Oregon Association of Realtors, and in line with the ban in Seattle, I am not hosting open houses at this time. I will not be surprised if Oregon implements a statewide ban on public and broker open houses in the near future.
- I contact the listing agent and ask what measures they and the sellers have taken to protect visitors to the house, and then discuss the response with my buyers to be sure they are comfortable.
- I ask my buyers to drive themselves to each property and meet me there so we don’t put each other at risk.
- I provide disposable gloves and shoe covers for each person and for each property.
Social Distancing is a term we have come to know too well in the past few weeks. Embrace the concept, keep washing your hands, and take care of yourself and your families.
Windermere Realty Trust Ranks as the #1 Most Generous Large Corporate Philanthropist in Oregon & S.W. Washington
Windermere Realty Trust matched many of the criteria I sought when I changed real estate brokerages almost 18 months ago. Among those criteria was community support, for which the Portland Business Journal has just announced Windermere Realty Trust as the Most Generous Corporate Philanthropist among large corporations in Oregon & SW Washington. Together with this firm’s professionalism and collegiality, the company’s community support is second to none. I am proud to be affiliated with Windermere Realty Trust!
The Portland real estate market is poised to accelerate into the spring selling season. January and February brought a slight uptick in residential inventory from the end of December, 2017. Our inventory dropped back down to 1.6 months by the end of March, up from the same time last year. The median sale price for a Portland-area home was $395,000 in March, 2018. This is 6.8% higher than a year ago. Houses are also moving just a little faster, with the median number of days on the market dropping to 55 – 5% lower than a year ago.
I expect to see more houses listed for sale in the coming months, typical for the spring month. I also expect the number of active buyers will increase, maintaining pressure on inventory levels and prices generally. For more information about your current neighborhood market, the market in the neighborhood where you’d like to move, or any of your real estate needs, please do not hesitate to contact me at Jon@JonCohenRealty.com or 503-497-2980, and look for your neighborhood information on my website – JonCohenRealty.com.