COVID-19 and Florida Real Estate

Updated April 29th, 2020 – Broward County and the state of Florida consider real estate to be an essential business, so we are performing in-person activities (showings, inspections, etc.) only as absolutely necessary and we are performing all other functions virtually, electronically and remotely until further notice per Broward County Emergency Order numbers 20-04 and 20-08, and the Florida Governor’s Executive order number 20-91.

Coronavirus – Florida Real Estate Q&A

First of all, let us be very clear. There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our customers and our agents. However, we are absolutely still open for business! As an “essential service” our customers depend on our services, so we are committed to adapting our business in order to stay safe while managing our customer’s very important real estate transactions. The good news is that we already utilize the technology necessary to professionally manage our current real estate business virtually and we are welcoming new customers in need of our services. The following questions and answers are just the start. Please feel free to reach out with more questions. Open communication is key to getting through this crisis together.

What are we doing to be safe?

• We are open for business, but our office is closed to the public, but we are accepting appointments only when absolutely necessary. We are limiting all “in-person” activities to those that are necessary to complete our active real estate transactions. Our agents have everything they need to work remotely. We already utilize a full suite of web based tools that allow us to work safely from home while taking care of our customer’s critical real estate needs. We offer online property tours, virtual showings and virtual open houses, and we can setup web based meetings through various conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google “Hangouts”. And, of course we are always available via cell phone, text, email, FaceTime and Skype.

• We are strictly following guidelines from the CDC as well as the National Association of REALTORS® guidance to help our REALTORS® respond to the coronavirus’s potential impact on the real estate industry.

• We are limiting all “in-person” activities to those that are necessary to complete our active real estate transactions. When in-person interactions are absolutely necessary we are strictly observing all CDC guidelines regarding social distancing. In-person activities include, but are not limited to property tours (see below), inspections, surveys, appraisals, etc.

Can we still show property to buyers?

Yes, we are able to perform property tours in two ways: in person or virtual “live” char (recommended).

Virtual “Live” Video Chat Tours

Join us via Zoom, FaceTime or Skype for a virtual walk-through of any approved listing. We will visit the property on your behalf, show you every nook and cranny of the property and answer all questions you may have.

In-Person Property Tours

Under certain circumstances we can arrange for an in-person property tour:

• The property owner and seller’s broker must approve the showing.

• Broward County Emergency Order 20-08 requires that all agents and customers wear facial masks during in-person activities, and it is our policy to comply with this order for all property showings and tours. In addition, our agents will provide hand sanitizer and masks for customers who do not have personal protective equipment.

• For in-person property tours we also request the following procedures: a)please meet us at the front door of the house with your facial mask on; b)Property tours are limited to a maximum of 2 buyers at a time; c) Do not touch anything during the tour. We will open all doors. d) Please stay in eyesight of your showing agent at all times while maintaining CDC social distancing guidelines.

We strongly recommend that you consider one of our virtual showing alternatives before scheduling an in-person property tour. Our cutting edge technology allows us to virtually show property and view property media through the following methods: a) We can walk you through the property “Live” via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom and other popular live video platforms. Time permitting we can tour you through the entire property, showing you every nook and cranny and answering your questions as we go. b) We are also holding virtual open houses (see below).

Will we hold open houses?

Until further notice we are not holding in-person open houses, but our technology allows us to offer “virtual open houses” and “virtual broker opens” for maximum exposure of our customers’ listings.. Contact us for more information on our virtual open house and listing services.

Are real estate closings still happening?

Yes, we are busy closing our customers’ real estate transactions under these new and unusual circumstances. However, please be aware that some things may take longer than normal. For example, we are asking for an additional 2 weeks for mortgage approvals, and in some cases inspections, surveys, etc. are taking longer to schedule. We are facilitating association interviews via Skype and our closing agents are offering remote closings and remote online notary services when necessary. As of January 1st, 2020 the state of Florida recognizes Remote Online Notary Public protocol, so this is available if we need it. If you have a pending closing then we will be tracking your deadlines and proposing extensions as necessary for certain parts of our process. The state of Florida has even created a coronavirus contract addendum to be used for this very purpose.

Please note, just like real estate brokerages, title companies are also considered essential services in our area. Most title company offices are open for the purpose of closing our real estate transactions and are handling their closings remotely and electronically. All of our real estate agents and brokers, mortgage brokers and closing agents are available through all means necessary to communicate with you and get your transaction successfully closed.

More Questions?

If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to Contact Us or reach out to your agent. We are here for you during these very difficult circumstances. Please be safe and stay healthy!