Real estate sales activity in the Golden State has come to an almost complete halt as the industry has been deemed non-essential by the California government. Specifics vary, but in most counties the government agencies needed to process a sale have been ordered shut and contractors required to inspect or repair properties have been closed as non-essential or the owners have decided to close temporarily for the safety of their employees.
For real estate sales professionals specifically, lock-down rules prohibit:
- Broker caravans/Broker opens (open houses attended only by agents)
- Open Houses
Most real estate companies are saying they have gone virtual, as agents work from home and conduct business completely online or by phone. Listings that are still active provide many more photos than usual and a growing number feature video tours of the property. What might be missing are standard reports usually available to buyers, such as a termite inspection report, property inspection report, roof report or any other report that requires an on-site inspection.
Buyers interested in a property they see online should have their agent contact the listing agent to get the complete story on how the property can be purchased. The sale might require an open-ended escrow that could take several months to close, dependent upon when the virus lock-down is modified or cancelled. I’ve been told by several listing agents that offers are not being accepted, they are simply continuing to advertise the property in anticipation real estate sales being able to close in the future. As always, buyer beware.