HOLLAND — The coronavirus pandemic has definitely had an effect on the real estate market, but people have still been able to buy and sell homes for the past couple months.
"It’s amazing how many listings our company sold without people being able to go through homes," said Andrea Crossman, longtime realtor at Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt.
Along with construction, real estate is among the industries gradually opening back up on May 7.
For the past two months, people buying houses have been looking at homes and properties via virtual showings through videos and photos online.
Buyers have also been able to write an offer and sign electronically online.
"Realtors to some degree in my opinion should not have been closed down anyway," Crossman said. "It’s pretty easy for us to keep a six-foot distance (during a showing)."
Home buyers have only been able to see homes in person without realtors present during a home’s building inspection if the seller and inspector agree, Crossman said.
On May 7, realtors can show homes again to a limited number of people with masks, social distancing and other safety measures in place.
"Throughout this, real estate has been moving forward, although slower than it usually does, especially during the months of April and May," said Luke Bouman, the team leader of Luke Bouman Real Estate with At Home Realty.
Even after May 7, virtual showings will be encouraged, Bouman said.
His team will be wearing face masks, carry hand sanitizer and keep a six-foot distance from clients. Buyers will have to be approved before in-person showings.
"I think there will definitely be buyers and sellers holding off," Bouman said,
"But the majority of people I’ve talked with are still interested in making a move in these uncharted times. People still want to buy and sell and that will continue."
Crossman said her agency recently had one buyer who backed out of a sale after losing their job and financing.
"Some of the banks are now putting in stricter rules for buying homes than in the past," Crossman said.
Bouman said realtors have a big responsibility as one of the next industries allowed to open up.
"There are people going through really challenging times, and we don’t take it lightly that we get to work," he said.
— Contact reporter Kate Carlson at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @SentinelKate and @BizHolland.