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Florida Stay-At-Home Order – Will The Real Estate Market Be Affected?

So will the housing market be affected by the new stay-at-home order issued by the Florida governor? Let's talk about that right now!

So, today we just got word that the governor of Florida has issued a brand-new stay-at-home order. And that basically means that if you are not doing something that is essential then you're being ordered to basically stay in your house unless you absolutely have to leave for necessary things like doctor's appointments or for prescription pick ups or for grocery runs. So all other activities outside of

the home have now been mandated that it needs to cease-and-desist right now in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.


And I think for a lot of people that it it feels like it's getting to a scary level, which it

is. It really is and there's a lot of factors to be considered and one of the things that I think a lot of people are concerned about right now is how this COVID-19 virus could, first of all, affect

the public health of the entire nation, much less just the state of Florida. But also, you know, how put putting the brakes on the entire economy can really affect a lot of individuals, a lot of business and commerce, and it can really, really hurt the economy in a major, major way.


One of the things that came up already is real estate? Is the real estate market actually being affected by COVID-19 right now? And of course it is in a myriad of ways. We're not immune to

the effects of this virus that seems to be spreading exponentially. And what we're all trying to do is flatten the curve, right? So that people get it at a slower pace so we don't overload our healthcare system.


And of course I think that there are many, many people out there that are doing everything they can, including us as realtors. In fact, you know our business has not stopped! People still

have to buy and sell real estate, people still have to move, people still have to transfer from one place to another even though there's a crazy pandemic going on right now. So things can't really stop completely and the world is not stopping completely and the economy is not really gonna stop especially if we have things like real estate still being done.

And of course we are! I already put a house under contract this past weekend, I've got two brand-new clients – one buyer, one seller. Real estate still has to continue and it is going to continue. The only thing that's really being affected is how we're doing our business. And that's actually not a terrible, terrible thing.


Because I think it's forcing a lot of people in our industry to embrace new technology and embrace all the cool things that we are able to do now. Which we've had the ability to do, obviously, but a lot of people have been resistant in learning how to use those those tools.

And you know it's... they're being all thrust into the 21st century whether they like it or not at this point.


So the new executive order that came down from the governor, literally just a few hours ago,

is basically an executive order calling for all Floridians to stay home, except to obtain essential services which is what I was talking about before, the order is effective tomorrow night at

midnight. So it's Wednesday, so tomorrow at midnight is when it goes into effect.

So people still have the ability to go out right now get any additional supplies that they may need. Because we don't know how long this is really gonna last. I mean, it's for 30 days actually right now, so it will last into May, but who knows if that's going to be extended or not. So you know and of course you can still get out and pick up other supplies if you need to.


But the idea is to just keep people from hanging out together. I don't know if you guys have seen it but I've driven around and seen people congregating at our parks and I've seen them at the beach and that’s kind of like not in the spirit of the whole "flattening the curve" and, you know, staying away from groups of ten or more. Right? So I think it came down to the fact that the governor had to take action, and he had to take a big action or the entire state and just make everyone follow the rules. Because some people just weren't.


There are a lot of people who are, but apparently, unfortunately, some people, you know, don't feel like it applies to them, I guess. I don't know. But he finally came down today and put this executive order into place and it's gonna start tomorrow evening at midnight and it will go for 30 days. So we're gonna be into May by the time this is lifted.


And of course it does say in the order specifically that, per the order, residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, are considered essential. Although members may continue to operate, they are not required to do so. However I don't really know that many Realtors who don't want to keep working and don’t want to keep helping people find homes

and helping people sell their homes so that they can move on to the next stage

of their lives.


So most of the people that I've worked with are still working. They're still showing homes, they're still doing everything they can that facilitate real estate transactions. And this is what's gonna really help keep the economy moving forward, which is awesome.


Some of the changes, though, I think are awesome. They are different ways for us to do our business and I think that that's fantastic! One of the questions that sellers often ask is, "Can

Realtors still hold open houses?" and the answer to that is actually YES! Now if

your individual broker says we as a brokerage are not going to be doing that,

well then that's a decision that your individual broker can make.


However, for the most part, I don't see any brokers saying that you can't do it. They're

giving their Realtors the option to host an actual open house as long as not more than 10 people are in the house at one time, or doing a virtual open house, which I think is even better and a lot more fun. And it uses technology that we should have been using already. And I loved this since it came out. It just came out a few weeks ago and I said, "YES!" because I think that this is what we should have been doing all along. And if you are already doing

this, then you are already ahead of the curve and that's awesome.


Obviously we we don't have a shelter-in-place order, but it is a stay-at-home order, so it's like one little notch above the shelter-in-place order. Of course, we all want to be compliant so we're making sure to stay true to the actual orders and regulations that are coming down from the top. We don't want to go against thePresident's orders or the CDC or the WHO or the governor now of the state of Florida. We want to make sure that we're compliant with everything so if they do come out and say that we can't do certain things, well of course, we're going to comply.


But at this stage of the game we can still do in-person showings, we just need to take precautions. We can still do open houses as long as we make sure that there's not more than 10 people in the open house at any given time. Which honestly, most of the time, if you have 10 people, that’s through the entire open house. And I only do 2 hour open houses when I do. And I never have 10 people in there all at one time. I might have 10 people trickle through during the two hours. But they come in, they spend about 10 to15 minutes and then they leave. And then someone else comes in. So it's usually not an issue unless you're hosting one of those fancy events, which obviously, none of us are doing that right now.


And again, the virtual open house is kind of a cool concept. You can actually interact with people live in person while you're hosting a virtual open house. And it's very simple, very easy to do. We have the tools available to us to do this and we had it for a while. So it's very cool and easy to do that. But the other cool part about that is you can actually record it so that you can post it up with your listing and put it on your website and people can go there and watch the open house and the interaction with other other potential buyers and the questions that were asked and how they were answered by the agent. So it makes it even better because you can put it out there and now people can go and check it out any time and you can direct people there. So it's like you're getting an open house like 10 times when you only had to do it once! So that's a really cool feature.


One of the other things that is kind of a concern is if you have people contact you that want to see houses that have been sick. Now that's a touchy subject. But at this stage of the game, if