DENVER — Homes are sitting on the market longer and inventory is drying up in what is typically a busy time of year for the real estate industry.
It’s all due to COVID-19.
This was the first weekend brokers tried selling homes since being warned of newly updated government restrictions.
Brokers are relying on technology now more than ever before. They don’t have a choice. In the current COVID-19 reality, brokers are being warned that the alternative could mean jail time.
Veteran realtor Tonie Krosky, who is usually busy selling homes this time of year, has a lot more time on her hands.
“I haven’t shown anything since early March,” Krosky said. “I haven’t been out to do any type of work.”
The Denver Metro Commercial Association of Realtors sent guidance last week about the state’s latest restrictions on the real estate industry. Brokers are being told in-person showings are not considered critical business. Violators could be fined a thousand dollars and sentenced to a year in jail, according to the guidance.
“They even said one broker had been taken in for it,” Krosky said. “So, I don’t think they’re messing around.”
Virtual showings are a must. Buyers are able to stipulate terms allowing them to visit a home after going under contract and before delivering the earnest money. It’s a safety net allowing buyers to walk away if they decide a home isn’t as good in person as it was in virtual world. Inspections are still happening.
“It’s just so difficult right now,” Krosky said. “We don’t know where this is going.”
Krosky, who is managing broker of TBK Real Estate Solutions LLC, is seeing more listings taken off the market. Meanwhile, she has found it difficult to take advantage of stimulus relief as a small business owner.
“We’re all just kind of in this crazy uncertain time, and we hope and pray it just goes away,” she said.
Krosky’s advice is don’t lose all hope! It doesn’t hurt to do a virtual tour. If it’s the right house, you may be willing to wait to see it after going under contract.