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Coronavirus hits Charlotte home buying amid busy season, real estate agents say

The spring buying season is when agents like Jonathan Osman of Tryon Realty Partners make a significant chunk of their income for the year. Instead, in the past several weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, he’s had buyers put purchases on hold and saw sellers’ homes languish on the market. Charlotte News
That’s in spite of a tight real estate market in Charlotte that has lasted for years, as demand outpaced a dwindling supply of homes. Sellers often receive multiple offers, and prices are rapidly rising.
State and local real estate groups say that trend is still in play for now, although they do expect a slowdown. But some agents say the outbreak is already cutting into their business, with canceled showings and open houses, and buyers and sellers pulling back. Charlotte Political News
Last week, Mecklenburg County’s public health director signed an order prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people. And the White House is urging people to limit gatherings of more than 10.
As a result, several real estate agents said they canceled open houses. It’s difficult to avoid having more than 10 people at a time during an open house, said Maren Brisson-Kuester, this year’s president of NC Realtors, a real estate trade association. Charlotte Medical News
There is absolutely no reason for us to allow an open house right now in this climate,” she said.
Still, she said there’s enough demand to sell homes based on private showings. She recommended that real estate agents wear gloves and wipe down surfaces and doorknobs, and ride in separate cars from their clients.

Charlotte home buying amid busy season, real estate agents say

Robin Mann, a broker with EXP Realty’s Sold in the Carolinas Real Estate, said she also decided to suspend open houses to avoid infecting at-risk clients.
“I just don’t feel that it’s the right thing to do,” she said. Charlotte  Latest News
When she showed a house to a client last week, Mann said, she went through it first, then had the buyer walk through on their own.
Osman said he is suspending all showings indefinitely, and is waiting to put properties on the market.
I’ve got to bear the moral responsibility if somebody gets sick as the result of somebody touching a doorknob, touching a key,” he said.
Still, some firms are continuing with open houses, but making modifications.
Jeremy Howard, a real estate agent with Keller Williams SouthPark, said his office is still doing open houses, but only allowing in one family at a time and making everyone wear gloves.
Even the new real estate technology companies gaining a foothold in Charlotte’s market are feeling the impact. Offerpad, which makes offers to homeowners online and resells homes, will not provide new offers to sellers, a spokesman said. Charlotte Distribution Service

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