Your real estate agent is here for you. Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions, concerns, or simply want to have someone to reach out to!
The National Association of REALTORS®, Austin Board of REALTORS®, and JP & Associates REALTORS® are taking this new circumstance very seriously. For my part, I continue to service buyers and sellers in whatever approach makes most sense for the individuals involved:
- limited in-person meetings
- in-person property showings with sanitizing products (hand gel, wipes, sprays), hand covering / vinyl gloves, shoe coverings
- virtual meetings (Zoom, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Skype, etc)
We have not been experiencing limits on availability of related industries, such as Home Inspectors and Property Appraisers. Our Mortgage Lenders continue to work on home loans, however some programs (for example Bond programs like Down Payment Assistance and Grants, and Jumbo loans) have been minimized or eliminated altogether for the time being. Title companies are almost exclusively conducting virtual/video signings at this time.
To help better understand the way we are dealing with the unique issues that have arisen, feel free to read the NAR official statement, review ABOR’s Showing Recommendations and Analysis of the April 27th Statement.
Here is the most recent update from the Texas Governor:
Plan to Open Texas: Phase One
The first phase of Gov. Abbott’s Plan to Open Texas (May 1-May 15, 2020) is largely focused on the gradual reopening of non-essential commercial businesses, including retail services, dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, and shopping malls. Texas REALTORS® has been in close communication with the Strike Force to Open Texas, offering recommendations for safely expanding government services relevant to the real estate industry.
Gov. Abbott’s executive order to open Texas addresses several recommendations Texas REALTORS® provided to the Strike Force:
- Reopen local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations relating to permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, as determined by the local government.
- Maintain residential and commercial real estate among essential services that may continue to be provided statewide.
In his remarks, Gov. Abbott specifically mentioned REALTORS® as an example of essential services that have been conducting business responsibly and safely and may continue.
- See Gov. Abbott’s executive order
- See the Governor’s Plan to Open Texas
- Watch Gov. Abbott’s remarks—REALTORS® mentioned at 16 minutes
Notary Services Expanded
On April 29, 2020, Gov. Abbott announced that real estate consumers may appear before a notary via videoconference when executing real estate documents, such as mortgages, to avoid in-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary suspension of the requirement for in-person notarizations will in effect until May 30, 2020 or until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration is lifted or expires.