The daily changing headlines have us a bit nervous about the coming days and weeks and what it means for our clients.
At Red Dress Realty, we are committed to keeping the lines of communication open with our clients, agents, and other real estate service providers. Our obligation to our clients is primary while cooperating with other brokers, except when cooperation is not in our client's best interest.
While the situation remains fluid, lenders are currently processing loans, providing clearance to close and wiring funds to settlement agents. As long as bank operations continue, wire transfers for closings and disbursements are still possible.
By order from the Virginia Supreme Court on March 16, 2020, clerk’s offices are open to process e-recordings of deeds and deeds of trust.
If you are thinking of selling, it is important that we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of allowing showings, holding open houses and if you do ratify a contract, our projections as to whether it will close on time.
If you are thinking of buying, we will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages associated with visiting properties for sale, attending open houses, and if you do ratify a contract, any perceived obstacles and how soon you will be able to close. It's important to project whether other service providers such as inspectors, appraisers, loan officers and settlement companies can meet the deadlines outlined in the contract.
If the buyer needs an extension on any of these dates, we will promptly communicate that to the listing agent and execute a written addendum extending the deadline. Extension of deadlines and the settlement date depend on the mutual agreement of the parties, but sellers may be more likely to grant extensions out of a sense of social responsibility and rational self-interest to avoid having to put a property back on the market in an uncertain environment.
We have been given guidance is to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. Realtors® are observing best practices regarding social distancing in all aspects of the home buying and selling process. We are maximizing the use of remote closings and e-notarization to accomodate these practices.
While we strive to help our clients achieve their goal of a completed home sale, the legal principle of force majeure may provide protection from default in situations where the ability of the seller and/or buyer to perform their duties under the contract is made impossible by forces beyond their control. In other words, a buyer or seller who is not able to settle due to COVID-19 related closures might not be held in default under the contract. We will do everything we can to facilitate any issues that will maintain goodwill between the parties.
As always, we will strive to protect our clients’ interest and uphold the highest standards under the Code of Ethics.
Adapted from Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® Best Practices for Working With Clients