Palm Desert homeowner David Mueller and his wife put their home up for sale three weeks ago. Activity and interest started out hot but now has cooled considerably.
“As we wait there seems to be a line waiting to see our house,” said Mueller.
Now knowing that his agents are cleared to sell with caution leaves him optimistic that a sale will happen sooner rather than later.
His selling team and other Realtors and agents received more specific direction over the weekend, when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security updated its list of essential services to include real estate services.
“They’re commission sales. If they are not selling a house they are not making any money,” said Mueller.
While some in the industry are expressing concerns about possible health risks to themselves and their clients, others including valley Realtor Dianna Forsythe are not.
A property on Imperial Court in Palm Desert is one of four she has listed.
“I’m in the business to help people. So when I was shut down and not being able to help people it wasn’t a good feeling,” said Forsythe.
As part of the effort to protect themselves and their clients valley real estate professionals are following the directive not to host open houses and offer virtual home tours when possible.
While buying and selling in the market is now cleared to continue, the players acknowledge they are now in a slowdown, with uncertainty as to when things will pick back up again.
“Right now we are trying to accomplish the same things in just a different way,” said Forsythe.
The Palm Desert office for the California Desert Association of Realtors® is also weighing in on their business being classified as “essential”.
A representative for the agency provided this written statement to News Channel 3:
“The California Desert Association of REALTORS® is advising our members of the California Association of REALTORS® Best Practices Guidelines in conducting the safe practice real estate during this unprecedented time. Following these guidelines will enable REALTORS® to demonstrate care for the health and well-being of clients, colleagues and the greater public welfare in reducing the risk of exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19, while providing the essential services of residential and commercial real estate recognized by the Department of Homeland Security as being necessary for the maintenance of America’s Critical Infrastructure.”