The California Association of Realtors said Saturday, March 28, that commercial and residential real estate services were included on an updated list of essential services. However, Santa Clara County has not commented yet and their rules are what will continue to determine how home sales are conducted. I will update you as soon as I know more.
While transactions that are in process need to be completed and there are extraordinary circumstances in which people need to find a place to live, it is still essential that business gets conducted as it had been recently ruled by Governor Newsom. We must all still adhere to safety first beyond anything else.
Here’s what happened this past week (3/16 to 3/22). Surprising how many homes went into contract in Santa Clara County; clearly now with the new rules from the Association of Realtors with no physical showings of homes, this coming week could be very different. I’ll be reporting what I see.
IN CONTRACT: 4 homes went into contract from $1,499,000 (2 bed/2 bath downtown condo) to $2,750,000 (3 bed, 2 bath home). The homes are pending close of escrow with no contingencies.
WITHDRAWNS: 11 homes were temporarily withdrawn or cancelled from the market but now that the days on market have been suspended on MLS, I think we will see fewer of these occur.
CLOSED: 3 homes closed escrow between $2.7 and $4.248 million.
Los Altos Hills
IN CONTRACT: 1 home went into contract, with a contingency, that was listed at $8,399,000; close of escrow is anticipated April 1
WITHDRAWNS: 5 homes were temporarily withdrawn or canceled; again, with the new rules on days on market being suspended, I think we will see fewer of these.
CLOSED: No homes closed escrow
Santa Clara County
184 homes went into contract from $299,000 (1 bed/1 bath condo) to $8,399,000 here in Los Altos Hills); of these, 57 have contingencies as part of the contract, 116 are pending close of escrow with no contingency, and 12 of these also closed escrow last week (off market sales).
Thanks to the San Jose Mercury News for this article by Jonathan Lansner just out today.
The California Association of Realtors told its members Friday to stop all face-to-face sales activities including showings, listing appointments, open houses and property inspections due to coronavirus concerns.
Thursday’s “stay at home” order from Gov. Gavin Newsom did not exempt home selling, the association noted. The order aims to keep more people away from each other and help limit the spread of coronavirus.
Only “essential” industries can continue to operate, the order says. That includes home construction, the association noted. In recent weeks the industry had been trying to sell existing homes with lots of hand sanitizer and “social distancing” before Newsom upped restrictions.
“This supersedes all existing local city and county orders that are less restrictive,” the association states in its advisory. “Clients and other consumers are also subject to these orders and should not be visiting properties or conducting other business in person.”
This order is another blow to the suddenly troubled housing market. The buying pace that recovered in 2019’s second half looks to be short-lived.
Massive layoffs are projected for many industries following numerous virus-related limitations. The bleak employment picture likely will cut the number of qualified house hunters and scare off potential buyers.
The association’s advisory added that “property management and repair work, which generally involves maintaining sanitary and safety conditions is permissible. Additionally, many other aspects of the real estate industry can continue to occur without in-person contact, including documentation and signing, and in many circumstances, closings. Other activities may also be managed remotely, though there may be some difficulties.”
Lisa Dunn, a real estate agent with her Laurel Real Estate Resources in Rancho Santa Margarita, was disappointed to hear the news of a sales shutdown but was thankful for the clarity of the association’s message. She will stop person-to-person selling but continue to close the sales she has in the works.
She’s hoping the sales limitations are brief because she’s got several potential deals brewing.
“We’ll be ready to fly out of the gate,” she said Friday evening.
The Multiple Listing Service yesterday announced that it is suspending the accrual of Days on Market (DOM) on all listings from March 17 until the Shelter in Place order is lifted. Specifically this means that all Active listings will stop accruing Days effective yesterday; prior days accrued will remain with the property. This week we started seeing a number of listings being cancelled or withdrawn with private notes that let agents know that it was being done because of the virus. With this new announcement, the current listings can stay “out there” to the public on various websites (besides my own), which gives them continued exposure without risking a high days on market that would be out of the seller’s control. It’s a really good decision.
It is an unprecedented time and a time of great anxiety for many. After years of being in touch with you and keeping you informed, I want to continue doing that. My service does not end when the going gets tough. I am here for you.
Let me start by saying that we need to send positive energy to so many right now – the politicians (whether you are for them or against them), the healthcare workers, the companies working together to try and solve this, and most importantly to those that are sick. Take care of yourself, your families, and your neighbors. Reach out to someone that might need help or just check in with them and ask how they are.
While the shelter-in-place mandate clearly impacts the real estate market, sellers still need to sell and buyers still want to buy. Interest rates have never been lower and I remain bullish on the long-term value of owning a home here. For sellers, we will be conducting business differently. No open houses, no broker tours, but carefully orchestrated showings, first virtually (as can be seen on my web site with lots of photos and all the details a buyer could possibly want) and then in person (once the mandate is lifted) while still judiciously observing safe distancing and sanitizing.
I am also fully digitally enabled to Facetime with you re: details of the home. Additionally, I am a fan of zoom.com and can meet with you on Zoom at any time for a face-to-face conversation. Right now, perhaps all you need is my thoughts on what I am seeing, hearing, and what the stats are telling us. Information is important and I can provide that.
I also plan to increase my social media marketing (@kathybridgmanrealesate on Facebook and Instagram) to keep you informed and will be adding a special feature on my web site (kathybridgman.com) where I will be posting important information and stats on Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Santa Clara County as a whole.
I appreciate your continued support, welcome your calls and emails, and look forward to continuing my service to you no matter what the circumstances.