As realtors in the Southern New England region, it is our responsibility to stay informed and act in accordance with The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations to help stop the spread of Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Strong Start to 2020 Housing Market Before Coronavirus
2020 was off to a very positive start for the real estate market based on pending sales figures for the month of February. According to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR), “Low interest rates and mild weather were among the factors credited for a 25% year-over-year increase in the number of single-family homes under agreement last month, and a 19% increase for condos.”
Even with the fast-paced real estate spring market upon us, the containment of COVID-19 is our top priority. At Noonan Lombardi Realtors, we have made the necessary decision to suspend all open house events for the near future. In place of the open house experience, our team is working to offer one-on-one showing appointments accompanied by diligent and necessary handwashing upon entering a home and leaving, as well as hand sanitizer, no hand-shaking and removing shoes for the duration of the showing appointment. Additionally, virtual tours are available to see properties and signing can be done electronically. Closings and deed recording can be held online remotely or by drop-off.
The Importance of Taking COVID-19 Precautions
Our team recognizes the importance of taking substantial preventative measures as COVID-19 continues to affect the stock market, oil prices and the way people interact with one another. We believe the best approach to continuing to offer our exceptional real estate services includes communicating with our buyers and sellers regarding recommended safety precautions and to focus on their long-term real estate goals amid the chaos.
A new survey released by the National Association of Realtors shared that “1 in 4 home sellers is requiring prospective buyers to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, remove shoes, or wear shoe covers. The survey also suggests that home sales could drop by 10% as a direct result of the coronavirus.”
Preventative measures to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading Coronavirus
The CDC, as well as the National Association of Realtors, is specifically directing individuals to follow these measures in order to protect themselves against contracting Coronavirus:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice social distancing – avoid crowds, group gatherings, and work to keep a 6-foot distance from people around you.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Stay home if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or any other cold or flu-like
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces often.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
Effective March 15, 2020, the CDC recommended an 8-week cancellation & postponement period for all in-person events with 50 or more people in attendance. Later on March 16, 2020, “President Trump announced new guidelines, advising that individuals avoid groups of more than 10 people for the next 15 days,” according to the National Association of Realtors.
As a team of professional realtors, we are committed to continuing to provide all our clients with the best real estate services possible, while maintaining a healthy environment. Thank you for your patience during this stressful time.
If you think you have symptoms of the coronavirus and have questions, the
RI Coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline is 401-222-8022.