Real Estate: Hosting open houses is now OK
Weekly real estate update
Statistics gathered from the Incline Village Multiple Listing Service on Oct. 11.
Houses Condos PUDs
For Sale 50 17 11
Under $1 million 3 12 8
Median Price For Sale $2,984,000 $774,999 $929,500
YTD Sales 2020 204 188 64
YTD Sales 2019 132 134 45
New Listings 11
In Escrow 18
Closed Escrow 24
Range in Escrow $377,000 - $4,500,000
These statistics are based on information from the Incline Village Board of Realtors or its MLS as of Oct. 11.
One of the most important marketing tools that real estate agents have is hosting open houses during the busiest times of year. While some agents do open houses all year round, the peak of the visitor season in a vacation resort market such as Lake Tahoe has been an important contributing factor to the success of many agents.
The ability to showcase properties for sale, meet new prospective buyers and promote your name throughout the community are all positive benefits of doing open houses.
But, the coronavirus pandemic led to a complete ban on open houses in Nevada over six months ago. While this measure likely helped to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, it eliminated an important marketing tool for sellers and agents. Fortunately, virtual tours, Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Docusign, Microsoft Teams and other technology driven solutions have been implemented to show properties and execute the numerous documents needed to complete a real estate transaction.
In the past few months, Nevada has made enough progress in the battle against the coronavirus that the governor lifted the restriction on holding open houses (subject to some regulations) effective Oct. 1. If everyone follows the new rules it will be easier for buyers to view properties and make informed decisions. Below is an excerpt from the directive issued by Governor Sisolak’s office:
“The Governor announced a plan to commence all in-person showings and open houses of single family and multi-family residences currently occupied and on the market for sale, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1, subject to the following limitations:
1. Showings and open houses of properties may not take place with the occupant present.
2. Showings of properties are limited to one prospective buyer and one real estate professional for both the seller and prospective buyer at a time. For the purposes of this provision, “a prospective buyer” includes the buyer and the buyer’s spouse, domestic partner, business partner, or family members.
3. Sellers conducting an open house are responsible for ensuring that there will not be more than one prospective buyer viewing a property at any given time. This may require having an individual present to properly meter prospective buyers entering an open house.
4. Sellers are encouraged to utilize appointments for in-person showings and open houses to the greatest extent practicable.
5. Real estate professionals are encouraged to utilize three-dimensional interactive property scans, virtual tours, and virtual staging to the greatest extent possible.
6. Real estate professionals are encouraged to avoid in-person transactions and services to the greatest extent practicable.
7. Real estate professionals must require all participants at in-person showings and open houses to wear face coverings at all times pursuant to Directive 024 and must follow CDC guidelines for in-person showings and open houses.
Some additional guidelines recommended by the CDC and Nevada realtors are as follows:
• All visitors maintain 6 feet of distance;
• Real estate professionals have available gloves and hand sanitizer for use and remind clients to not touch surfaces when viewing property as well as wipe down surfaces as frequently as possible.”
Ironically, these rules are very similar to the proposal that we made in one of our weekly columns back in the Spring. But, that’s water under the bridge. If we all follow the new open house rules and act responsibly it will make it easier for buyers and sellers to work with their agents to safely show and sell properties.
Don Kanare is the founder and Sabrina Belleci is the owner / broker of RE/MAX North Lake.
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