The Corona Virus is not a Computer Virus
Of course, everyone knows that the corona virus causes disease in humans, while a computer virus causes disarray in computers. But what is the point?
As it relates to home buying and home selling, while there is a concern about coming into contact with the corona virus and getting sick, the majority of a real estate transaction, from start to finish, is done online where the corona virus has no powers.
The primary method to sell most houses in today's market is by advertising the house online. There are thousands of websites that do just this by being the vehicle for displaying tens of thousands of houses. The basic information and much more about any given property is found online.
The online data for any given property which is for sale will include the location, the price, the square footage, the taxes, features of the inside and of the outside, pictures showing all parts of the home, demographic information about the neighborhood, statistics about crime, performance of the schools, and so on.
Contracts are prepared by agents on their computers, and are delivered online to all parties for e-signatures, such that the documentation is never physically touched.
Documentation which is needed by lenders to approve a buyer for a purchase can all be delivered electronically. There is no need to physically meet with the lender.
The same is true of title companies. Almost all of the data that they need to secure is found online.
Any transfer of funds can be done electronically.
This still leaves one major step, which is, typically, not done online and that is the actual viewing of the house.
However, if proper procedures are followed, then the risk of being infected by the virus can be greatly alleviated. For instance, there should be only one showing at a time, any doors on the interior of the house should be left open so it eliminates the need to touch them, disposable gloves can be worn at the viewing to prevent direct contact with any surfaces, after a showing all touched surfaces such as doorknobs could be wiped down with disinfectant, and so on and so on.
It still maybe advisable for some occupied houses to not be on the market, but for the many unoccupied houses that are frequently on the market that would not be an issue.
Some people may still believe that the prudent thing to do is to shut down all activity and, indeed, this may need to happen, however if we can find solutions to continue our normal activities, then it is certainly worthwhile to consider them, because a dormant people can only sustain themselves for so long.