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  • Writer's pictureShaila Campbell

How Covid-19 is Changing our Industry

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

This has been a year of quick adjustments to a new way of doing business. For those thinking of entering the buying or selling process, here's a few ways the market has changed a result of Covid-19.

  1. Buyers are willing to purchase sight unseen. Virtual showings enable off-island Buyers or those mindful of their daily exposure to conduct a live showing with their Realtor via Zoom or FaceTime. For listing agents, this means that 3D Matterport Scans are now a

must. And, the use of video through virtual open houses (gulp!) have put Realtors on-screen narrating and learning camera skills. Lifestyle Videos have also gained popularity and can help create buzz.

2. Open House or No Open House? A dilemma. Currently under Tier 1 and Tier 2 of our City & County's reopening strategy, real estate activities are to be limited to no more than 5 individuals indoors at one time. To avoid a long line of waiting patrons at open house, Realtors with hot listings are encouraged to host dedicated showing appointments during open house hours. It's also common for a Covid-19 rider to be signed or contact information to be taken prior to entry. And, Seller's are often requiring that Buyers be pre-qualified prior allowing a showing.

3. The market remains strong. Throughout the U.S. real estate markets are being driven by low interest rates and low inventory. Last month's statistics showed that the average single family home is going under contract after just 9 days on the market. Active listings in the same category dropped -39.3% from the same time last year. And median sales prices in single family homes are up 13.3% from a year ago.

4. Home Inspections and signing your closing documents will be different. Traditionally, home inspectors and clients would meet at the property and discus their findings together. Now, many home inspectors conduct their client walk-thrus virtually. We would encourage a post-inspection showing with Buyers to enter the home after their virtual walk-thru to get a better visual of the areas being discussed.

When signing closing documents, escrow is very mindful of who they let into their offices. Why? If anyone in their office gets Covid, it will affect not one, but many transactions as their office is forced to temporarily shut down or adjust due to infection. Office policy's vary, but usage of a mobile notary or drive-up signing is generally preferred. In some circumstances, "Remote Online Notarization" can be performed by via a notary and digital platform.

5. Help for Tenants. Tenants should know that Governor Ige's emergency proclamation prevents the eviction of tenants for non-payment of rent. In addition, when an emergency proclamation is in effect, month-to-month tenancies are considered commodities. Therefore, during the emergency proclamation, a month-to-month tenancy cannot be terminated unless very specific conditions are met. Owners that want to sell their occupied investment properties may want to have a candid conversation about tenant safety and feasibility to determine if that makes sense.


Questions? For more info, call Shaila at 808-741-7155 or email Hawaii Homes & Estates LLC. License No: RB-20456.


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