Coeur d'Alene real estate sales deemed ESSENTIAL during the covid-19 pandemic.
We are taking this opportunity to update our clients and others about the current state of our local real estate market in Coeur d'Alene and the surrounding communities in north Idaho.
The situation with the pandemic has been changing by the hour. Idaho Governor Brad Little issued a Statewide Stay-At-Home Order effective today. All non-essential businesses and services have been ordered to close.
What does that mean for real estate, our transactions in escrow, showings, open houses, inspections, closings, mortgages and more?
In north Idaho, Panhandle Health District has clarified that real estate is an essential business. People need housing in a crisis, it's essential. Many people are currently in the process of needing to buy or sell homes for any number of reasons. There will be some modifications to activities for health concerns, but the real estate business will keep moving forward.
It won't be business as usual but it will continue.
Rick and I are currently working with several buyer clients who need homes, and we are determined to find ones that meet their needs in spite of the current situation. Title and escrow services are also deemed essential. Their offices are keeping in constant contact with us agents. They have closed their offices except for appointment only. They are following CDC safety and distancing guidelines, and will hold signings outside for anyone who would rather not come inside at all.
Title companies are still issuing title insurance policies as long as they are able to get needed property information from the county. In order to close a transaction in Idaho, a deed needs to be recorded in the Kootenai County Recorder's office. The county offices are closed to the public, but as of today they are still working, recording, and deals are closing. Not business as usual, but we are definitely still in business.
We agents can show property to prospective buyers. Of course, there are modifications. One of them being to follow the wishes of the homeowner as to how to proceed, as well as the guidelines of CDC for keeping a 6 ft distance, disinfecting touched surfaces, etc. Virtual walk-throughs are a good option. Rick and I actually have sold several properties this way in years past. What we can't do is hold public open houses, or take a group through a house.
The point is, we can still show property,we are still in business, just not business as usual.
Lenders are still lending, appraisals are still being done, and again, modifications are being made. With our two buyers currently in escrow, one lender waived an appraisal altogether, and the other did a computer generated appraisal. We're still in business, just not business as usual.
The past few weeks as this has unfolded, Rick and I have had transactions working their way through inspections, appraisals, loan processing and escrow. Tensions have risen as the crisis unfolded. Still, we have kept our closings on schedule and were able to get a listing under contract just yesterday after a few days of working through a lot of what-if details, in light of the current climate of unknown.
I have nothing but respect for the co-operating agents on these transactions, as well as their clients. Everyone has worked with grace and professionalism to come to terms that are truly a win/win for all of our clients.
Now, having talked about what we CAN do, we are still dealing with a slow down of showing activity. People who DON'T need to buy or sell a house right now, aren't out looking. Out-of-state buyers who are a significant number of our local sales in north Idaho, are staying home for now. But others who need a house, still need a house, and they are looking for homes.
We are advising sellers who have been planning to put their home on the market this spring, to go ahead and do so. As a seller you can be sure that during this uncertain time for people, anyone who will be looking at your home will be a serious buyer ready to buy right now. As other sellers stall putting their homes up for sale, you'll benefit with less competition than you'll have once things return to normal.
We are here for you!
If you have questions or concerns, let us help you work through them. It's a trying time for all of usl, but we have so much to be thankful for. It's such a cliche, but so true that when we count our blessings we count all of you who started as clients and have become treasured friends through the years. Thank you for your continued friendship and support, it means the world to us.