Navigating Showings and Closings in the Current Business Environment
COVID-19 continues to steer the real estate market in new directions, and many are asking, “What’s my risk if my sale or purchase doesn’t close?” There’s risk in any purchase or sale transaction, but COVID-19 is increasing the odds that a closing is delayed—at times, without a new date set in stone. So what is your risk, and what is Cartus doing to help lessen it for you?
Virtual Is Reality
Even with the national increase of “shelter in place” and quarantines daily, some find themselves in a “must sell/buy” situation, and our broker network agents are dedicated to protecting everyone’s best interests.
Agents have adapted quickly, holding virtual showings and live-streaming open houses, continuing to push the market forward. Virtual showings and open houses can be done with as little as two people and provide a platform that can be accessed post-live-stream.
Although virtual showings are on the rise, some may still be conducted in person, and agents are taking extra precautions including:
- Social distancing/limiting the number of people in the home at one time
- Sanitizing surfaces and doorknobs
- Requesting all potential buyers/agents sanitize their hands pre- and post-showing
- Wearing booties
Remember the adage, “All real estate is local”? Well, that applies here as well. While brokers and agents have adapted to conduct business, many locations around the country are more restrictive on movement and the business activities allowed. For example, some states are requiring quarantine for travelers entering the state. With these measures changing daily, the best source of information and business practices is our network of local real estate brokers and agents.
Challenges may arise with closing delays, difficulties delivering contracts, and buyers reconsidering whether they can afford or obtain financing. Cartus focuses on protecting the best interests of our clients and their employees by including a Force Majeure Rider A with every third-party contract.
- The rider is required on Buyer Value Option and Home Sale Assistance sales, and agents are including similar riders with Direct Reimbursement and new home purchase.
- The rider allows termination and/or an extension upon the occurrence of an Excused Event, specifically including COVID-19.
- An Excused Event includes, but is not limited to, any Acts of God, declared state of emergency or public health emergency, pandemics, government-mandated quarantines, and isolations that make it impossible or impractical for one party to perform its obligations under the contract.
For more information, read our White Paper on Navigating Relocation Home Sales in Uncharted Waters.
If you have any questions about local real estate impact or the Force Majeure Rider A, please contact your Cartus Account Manager. We are in this together!