Properties are coming on the market again, prompting the question – is San Francisco Bay Area residential real estate coming back? We previously reported that real estate sales and leasing were considered non-essential businesses for purposes of compliance with shelter-in-place directives. Agents were re-classifying their active listings to Coming Soon or similar categories, a tactic for not running up the number of days the property would sit on the market while title companies and county recorder offices were closed and sales could not be completed. Indeed, that has changed.
Federal guidelines have recently been modified to include real estate sales and leasing as essential businesses, a move California and most Bay Area Counties are now following. Heavy restrictions apply, which typically include these in most areas:
- Online showings are encouraged, such as virtual tours and expanded use of photographs.
- Visitors are restricted to two per group when viewing property.
- Online systems are to be used whenever possible for signing documents.
- Title and escrow services are encouraged to provide services from employee’s homes to the greatest extent possible.
- County recorders offices are generally open, but most provide online services only.
Even with agents returning to work and new listings coming on the market, it may take a few weeks to determine the full impact of reduced sales activity on prices and demand. Check back for more updates!