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Real Estate Resilient amid Challenges

From where we stand, it’s gladdening to note that the local real estate business appears exhibiting some strength and resiliency amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Judy Kepecz-Hays team notably has a pending condo sale at L’Elegance, as well as a new listing at the Lido Regency.

We expect just limited interruption on providing services to these accounts and to our other clients, even as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered a state-wide lockdown April 1–30 because of the pandemic.

Pronounced as Essential Service

Significantly, the governor’s order included residential and commercial real estate in the essential services excluded from the lockdown. Settlement services for real estate deals have been considered as essential as well.

In March, Florida’s realtors, including the professionals’ association in Sarasota and Manatee, proactively advocated for real estate services to be declared as essential and should stay open if a lockdown is adopted.

The state’s realtors’ association also lobbied with government officials to ensure that government services essential to real estate transactions, such as recording by the Country Clerks, remain open. Residential buyers and sellers can sign digital contracts through the help of their respective agents in a video conference. In Sarasota and Manatee counties, e-recording and e-filing services enable real estate agents to submit pertinent documents online or via electronic platforms.

Professional services necessary in real estate sales, like accounting and legal services, are also considered as essential under state-wide lockdown guidelines. Beneficial for residential sellers who want to spruce up their sales listing, contractors and other tradesmen likewise count among those whose services are considered as essential.

These service providers include appliance repairmen, pest exterminators, landscapers, and pool care specialists. They were included because their services have been considered as necessary to maintain the sanitation, safety, and essential operation of residences and other structures. Hardware stores, along with supermarkets, have also been allowed to remain open during the state lockdown.

More Diligent Moves

Justifying its plea for real estate services to be considered essential, the Real Estate Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM) said that real estate transactions should not be halted because “our economy needs as much activity as it can get.”

“The purchase of a home or building is likely one of the largest financial transactions individuals and companies undertake,” RASM added.

With this in mind, it is now urgent and challenging to fulfill certain requirements and to meet deadlines to close real estate deals. Real estate agents now have to be extra diligent, while at the same time adhering to all CDC Covid-19 safety guidelines in their day-to-day client servicing.

The mortgage loan process, in particular, is one area that now requires more attention. After all, this involves accomplishing documents and securing deadline-driven approvals from various public and private entities.

In a bid to help address mortgage loan concerns brought about by the recent lockdowns, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has come up with frequently asked questions (FAQs) useful for homebuyers. Our Judy Kepecz-Hays team could offer more to help buyers as well as sellers to navigate the current nuances of the property market. E-mail or call us to set a sale going just like in pre-Covid-19 days.