It’s rural here in the Catskills. Really rural. That’s great when there’s a global pandemic. And it’s not great at all.
I’m in Delaware County, New York. We’ve got a lot of open land. And not so many people. I consider it nothing short of heaven, and so do a lot of people who visit here from urban areas. In scary times, it looks even more attractive. And safe.
But there’s a downside.
This county doesn’t have a hospital that can handle ICU cases. We have a screaming shortage of health care professionals. We have a pretty high population of older folks.
That’s all a bit worrisome.
The county government has put out a press release asking our weekenders and visitors to think twice before coming to the country. There’s a concern they’ll bring the virus with them. There’s a concern they’ll be less vigilant once they’re in the country, and there’s a huge concern that they’ll be an added strain on an already critical health care system.
I see both sides. I imagine if you’re in the city and your thinking now’s the time to get out of the city, you don’t want to hear that you should stay home. Particularly if you own a home here.
Then there’s the question of whether you can act on your desire to buy a home somewhere outside the city now. That’s where I enter the picture.
I want you to know how I am trying to walk that tightrope between helping my clients buy and sell properties, and taking stupid risks that might impact me, my clients, and my neighbors.
First, if you’re a buyer and want to see a house, this is the time the video tour is going to absolutely shine. You’ll see enough to know if you want to see more. And use Google Earth to view the neighborhood. Even if you can only do a satellite view, you’ll learn a lot. Weed out the maybe’s from the no-way’s before you ask for an appointment.
I’ll do as much as I can via video and phone. All realtors are trying to limit personal interactions as much as possible.
I’m doing listing appointments virtually. No need for me to haul whatever germs I may have into someone’s home to discuss listing their home. I can talk with them, answer questions, and hopefully convince them I’m going to work my butt off for them without shaking their hands or even walking through the door. My hope is they’ll appreciate that I’m putting their health first.
I’m giving my seller clients the option of showing or not. If they have reasons to be particularly vigilant, whatever they are, I respect that. I hope you do, too.
If we set up a showing, I’m going to ask prospective buyers to be considerate. I’m not showing if they appear sick. I’m not showing if I’m sick. And I’m not showing if sellers seem sick. That may mean a last minute change in plans. That’s just how it is right now.
I’ll be wiping down doorknobs and asking everyone to cover their shoes. It may seem like overkill, but better that than making anyone sick.
Realtors are being asked to limit interactions by lawyers, so I’m not going to closings. I’m limiting my presence at inspections, too, much as I’d like to be there. It’s not worth the risk.
Risk vs. Reward. Think about it. We’ll be here when this is over. There will be a place for you and a buyer for your home. Give it just a little time, let’s get everything under control, and then get in touch.