How is the Pandemic Affecting Sarasota’s Real Estate Market?

Greetings from sunny and spring-like Sarasota where the daily temperatures are in the 80s. For our family, we are taking it day by day. We are healthy. Our children are working on their school assignments online and engaging with their teachers. Baci, our Bernese Mountain Dog, is happy everyone is at home and she is always searching for love.

How, you may ask, is the real estate market? In a word it is active. Real estate listings, showings, and sales continue. It is not as busy as it was on March 1st, yet new properties are coming to market, properties are going to contract, and closings are occurring.

Properties Under Contract in Last 10 Days

There are currently about 4580 properties for sale in our community. In the last 10 days, there have been 422 new listings and 247 have gone to contract. We are near 1000 closings thus far for March which is a little bit less than this time last year, however, the end of the month/quarter usually produces a flurry. Today we had a successful closing on one of our listings with both buyer and seller out of town.

Implementing New Safety Protocols

Buyers typically see a property in person, and then the remainder of the transaction occurs digitally. With so much digital imagery from satellite views, drone footage, street views, walk-through videos, pictures, and finally a FaceTime or WhatsApp Video call, there are cases where buyers are not even physically present during the “showing.” This is especially true since so many of our clients are already so familiar with the neighborhood, or building, or the unit above or below the target purchase.

When there are showings, we are employing new practices. We are setting the expectations that individuals use booties over their shoes, wash their hands before and after the showing, and refrain from touching surfaces. We are also disinfecting surfaces such as switches and doorknobs, ensuring good air circulation, etc.

For our new listings, we are observing strict social distancing so everyone feels secure. For example, our video and photography crew can do their work without anyone in the property. They now have a rigid process in place that involves sanitizing people and equipment before, during, and after to mitigate cross-contamination risk.

Real Estate Transactions Already Largely Virtual

While many industries and businesses are moving to virtual operations, most aspects of the real estate transactions already occur remotely. There can be up to 33 different people involved in a transaction. Most of them our clients have never seen, and yet 99.9% of the time they proceed smoothly from contract to close, and the purchase or sale occurs on the day it was intended.

We are constantly educating our buyers so that when the right opportunity does arise- they are ready to move. Home inspections, surveys, insurance and title work, and even closings regularly occur without the Buyer present. My record distance for helping a buyer go to contract and close without setting foot on a property is 8300 kilometers.

Honesty and transparency continue to be the hallmark of our business. We will continue to use all of our experience and available data to make the most informed decisions possible. If it is time to sell and/or you are ready to buy, let me know and we can start that process together (Tel: 941.587.0740). Even though we may not be physically with you at every moment, we will be with you every step of the way and over communicate in the process.

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