Several weeks ago, I was touring homes with one of my clients who is originally from overseas. His family was in quarantine at the time and was in isolation for 6 weeks total. I remember doing showings and facetime videos with his family even though it was in the middle of the night in that country. The late night facetimes did not bother them because they were able to nap during the day while their stay at home order was in place. At that time, it seemed inconceivable to me.
Back then, it was impossible to believe that some virus would come to the United States and shut us down. However, as I sit at my desk in my kitchen in my sweatpants and type this blog, it is a reality. As I look outside at the sun shining, I wish that I was out and about as usual living my 24/7 Real Estate life. I miss being out at showings, greeting new people and shaking hands!
I was sitting in my car, in the West Loop, waiting for an appraiser to come to one of my listings on that infamous Friday night when Governor Pritzker put the Stay at Home order in place. Quickly, I started preparing for the near future on how to move forward with my listings and showings while staying at home. Then we were told that Real Estate has been deemed ‘Essential’ business. Attorneys, Appraisers, Title Companies, Inspectors, Moving Companies, Construction are not business as usual, but they are still able to work.
Although there have been many big changes on how we conduct business, Real Estate hasn’t stopped. I am still keeping in constant contact with my clients, managing listings, closing on properties, having appraisals and more. However, Open Houses are not allowed, showings are urged to be done virtually and showings are not allowed in rental units if they are occupied. Still what I am seeing, is that buyers will not make offers by only seeing a home virtually. So, at some point, there will be a showing request. New guidelines require that no more than 4 people are to be present at a showing. I started protecting myself early by wearing a mask, using disposable gloves, designating showing clothes and shoes, and bringing lots of Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer with me. I am doing my best to protect everyone involved IF I need to go out.
Since the stay at home order, I have had 4 closings and one scheduled for next week. Closings are still happening but have mainly moved to more remote title locations where the buyers can sign papers from the comfort and safety of their own car.
I will continue to keep you updated. Most important of all, stay safe, stay healthy, get some exercise and breathe!