This message was written to help you better understand the implications of New York State's decision last night to allow real estate agents to show homes and meet clients in person.
In case you missed it, just last night New York State re-categorized the real estate brokerage business as "essential" under NY PAUSE.
Click here to read the advisory sent to all real estate agents in New York State on April 1, 2020 by the New York State Association of REALTORS (NYSAR).
As always, I am available to talk privately with you about your particular real estate situation. If after reading this post you would like to discuss reentering the real estate market as a home buyer or home seller, please let me know as soon as practical.
REMINDER: I am hosting two Zoom meetings tomorrow to answer your general questions and discuss your ideas:
It's Thursday, April 2, 2020 and I am writing this post from my office. To say I am surprised at this turn of events is a major understatement. I join thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers working and interacting with the public under highly difficult circumstances. I have very mixed feelings about going back to work under the circumstances. I'm sure you can imagine. Enough said.
I have come to understand that, for businsses, NY PAUSE has the force of law and violators are subject to penalty. However, for consumers, NY PAUSE does not have the force of law. Instead, NY PAUSE is an admonition - an exhortation - to stay indoors at this time. Very different indeed.
What does the decision mean?
In terms of showing properties and meeting clients the new ruling turns the clock back to how the I was operating my business before March 23rd at 8:00 pm when NY PAUSE went into effect. I am able to meet clients in person as necessary. I can show houses in person as necessary. By implication under the new ruling real state consumers are permitted to engage real estate agents in person. In cases were a personal meeting is not essential I can & will provide real estate services to my clients remotely.
Naturally, individual consumers will want to assess their personal circumstances as well as the potential health risks of entering the real estate market and then consider the market and the economic conditions before deciding to participate either as a home buyer or as a home seller.
I am happy to talk through all these considerations with you. Contact me anytime. Or, if you have general questions, please feel free to join one of my upcoming Zoom meetings.
What about ancillary services related to buying or selling a home?
If the business is a vendor, supplier or provides other support to an Essential Business that is required for the Essential Business’s operation, then that business is exempt from the employment reduction provisions contained in Executive Orders 202.8. However, only those employees necessary to support the Essential Business are exempt from the employment reduction requirements of Executive Orders 202.8 and that business is still required to utilize telecommuting or work from home procedures to the maximum extent possible. Empire State Development Essential Employer FAQ’s.
It is my understanding sign installation companies, videographers, photographers, home stagers, home repair contractors and other sorts of businesses undertaking work on properties in support the real estate business may operate under the new ruling by New York State and Empire State Development so long as they follow this directive.
What is likely to happen next?
Most experts believe Monroe County, New York State and the rest of the country have yet to reach the apex of the coronavirus infection curve. As a result, I would not be surprised if the market does not come back in full force as compared to if we were on the far side of the apex. In addition, I expect the real estate market to grow slowly as agents and consumers learn about the news, consider their options and make their choices.
Not every buyer or seller will choose to reenter the real estate market at this time. We can't know the exact percentage of those who will decide to stay out of the market. However, I think it's very fair to assume the number will be less than 100% full power. There will be fewer listings and there will be fewer home buyers looking at properties as compared to recent years.
What about real estate agents? Naturally, real estate agents who test positive or real estate agents who are showing symptoms will not go back to work until they are clear of the virus. In addition, I strongly suspect older agents and agents with underlying health issues may choose not to reopen their practice despite having permission to do so. The average age of real estate agents in the United States is over 50. Still more are likely to decline to reenter out of a concern they’ll do more harm than good. So, the number of agents who may choose not to go back to work is likely to be in the 10% to 25% range and perhaps even higher since we not yet past the apex.
Is it a good time to buy or sell?
More on this topic in the next posting.
I will continue to send these messages every few days during the coronavirus pandemic crisis. The situation is changing rapidly. You deserve the most recent information about our real estate market from a source you trust.
I wish you and your loved ones good health and good spirits during this unfortunate crisis!
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