No one knows for sure what the impact will be. What we do know is how real estate business will be conducted in the coming weeks. The governor of California has ordered Californians to "shelter in place," and, as of this writing, for an indefinite time period. Only essential businesses are allowed to remain open: pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurants with take-out only, and stores that offer goods to maintain a home.
In the last couple of days, I have been receiving a flurry of emails from businesses in response to California's order to shelter in place. Retail shops at malls are closing temporarily. Escrow offices continue to conduct business but are not open to the public. Because real estate is considered a non-essential business, my real estate office is temporarily closed until further notice. Having said that, I am still able to conduct real estate business from my home office. As long as there are lights and internet, I'm good to go!
If real estate is a non-essential business, can I still buy a home?
Yes, you can! However, here are some things to consider when buying a home during California's shelter in place.
- In keeping with the State of California's governor's order, the California Regional Multiple Listing Service has cancelled all open houses. Open houses are not allowed, so you, as a home buyer, will not be able to go to open houses to view homes on the market you might be interested in buying. Your Realtor®, however, can view homes for you, or can make appointments for you with sellers' real estate agents to view these homes. If you do go to view homes by appointment, and if you are 65 or older, or have compromised immunity, you will want to take extra precautions, such as wearing a N95 face mask, and gloves, when you go. This will sound like Captain Obvious, but you should not view homes if you have flu-like symptoms -- stay home until you are well.