Rick and Suzanne Bell Real Estate Newsletter | May 2020

How Did Feasible Become So Ambiguous?

We hope that you are doing well and wanted to touch base regarding the recent modifications to the Shelter in Place order, as they relate to residential real estate marketing and sale transactions.  While the specific guidelines of the original order, amendments and related documents are in black and white, there continues to be a lot of discussion surrounding their interpretation and how they mesh with the practicalities of preparing and marketing a residential property for sale.

The order amendment appears to have extended in part the guidelines originally set forth for vacant properties to those homes still occupied by the owner or a tenant.  In preparing a property for market, appraisers, photographers, contractors and landscapers now appear to be classified as essential and allowed to enter a property, provided that the occupants are absent, a Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration form is executed by the relevant parties and a number of specific protocols are followed, i.e., no more than three people inside the property at one time, etc. This week, an interpretation of the amended order was released the includes staging as an essential service, which is important and welcome.

The order revision also addresses how a property may be shown to perspective buyers, which until recently, was limited to vacant property and is further complicated by the verbiage that a property should be shown virtually through photos and video when “feasible”.  As you might imagine, there are varying interpretations of what feasible means.  One interpretation might include a buyer’s position that it is infeasible to preview a property virtually to any meaningful conclusion. As a practical matter, properties, both vacant and occupied are being shown on a limited basis, both virtually and physically and the general sense is that things are starting to open up.  Available inventory and buyers are limited, but remarkably, activity is fairly strong and transactions are taking place with relatively minimal price impact at this time.

Our discussion herein only addresses a few facets of how Covid 19 and the SIP order is impacting the real estate marketing process at this time and is not intended to be a comprehensive guide on how one should approach the preparation and marketing of a property.  As discussed herein, there is not a uniform interpretation of a number of practical applications of the order to the marketing process, so anyone contemplating a sale transaction should rely solely upon the guidance of their real estate representative, attorney and counselors.  This topic is really a moving target and while the basis of this article largely relates to Santa Clara County, what is permitted in one county may be forbidden in another, so one has to be very careful on how they proceed.

If you have any thoughts, questions or have a real estate need, please consider us a resource, we are here available and here to help.

About Us:

Rick and Suzanne Bell share a marriage and real estate partnership at COMPASS out of the Los Altos office, where they serve Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, Mountain View and surrounding Silicon Valley and Bay Area communities, Rick and Suzanne deliver a diverse and unique skill set when assisting clients in the marketing of their homes.

We devote a great deal of our resources toward the production of superior marketing collateral, which is then promoted through a multitude of social media channels.  Social media marketing can become complex very quickly and we believe that we can demonstrate how our expertise in this area is unique, compelling and adds significant value for our clients in the marketing of their homes.

Rick’s background in both commercial and residential real estate marketing, coupled with his personal experience in real estate investment and home renovation empowers Rick’s clients with creative, unique and practical solutions when preparing and marketing their homes for sale.

Having managed nearly 500 employees as a Nordstrom store manager, Suzanne’s background in leadership, problem-solving & customer service provides for a very unique skill set in addressing the challenges often faced during a modern real estate transaction.  Suzanne strives to reflect the Nordstrom customer service pledge within her real estate practice.

Learn more about Rick and Suzanne (HERE).

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