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Real Estate adjusting to new normal

Posted at 5:04 AM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 05:15:11-04

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan's real estate industry is adjusting to it's new normal. In-person showings are now allowed, but there are still restrictions in place.

"It's definitely different times. Obviously we're masked up, we're distanced here today. So we're just really trying to use the tools we have at our disposal to make sure everyone's staying safe but still accomplishing their real estate goals," Marilyn Snyder, a realtor for RE/MAX, said.

The industry had some setbacks after the pandemic shut down businesses. Realtors say about 50 percent of buyers and sellers were put on hold, but realtors were able to sustain some of their business by moving everything online.

"We tried to do as much as possible online as we could," Snyder explained. "We were making some offers contingent based on some buyers being able to see the property in person, which the sellers completely understand. I have a client who's purchasing a home who lives out of state. They will buy their house unseen, they did a video with the seller, they got to ask questions, but they'll never see the house before they buy it."

Now that some restrictions have been eased, realtors are allowed to do in-person showings. Requirements, however, aren't as open as the houses.

"Open houses are one of the restrictions that they have put on the showings to limit the number of people that are there and they're asking to limit the number of people to four people within the house, including the agents and the buyers," Albert Manas, a realtor for RE/MAX said.

Realtors also cannot schedule a viewing of a home for more than an hour behind each other. Other precautions depend completely on the agent and homeowner.

Colleen Steinman, a woman who put her house on the market during the pandemic, says she and her agent do ask that people looking at the home follow certain rules to keep everyone safe.

"We have booties out for people to cover their shoes," said Steinman. "We do ask that they (potential buyers) wear masks. Also, when I'm preparing for a showing, I go through and wipe away and leave closet doors open, leave lights on so that people don't have to touch things when they're looking."

Steinman says she also goes through her home and wipes down surfaces after the showing is complete.

Realtors say overall the market is still booming with business, just in a different way.

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