Progressing into Reopening Phase 3

With traffic slowly returning to pre-COVID-19 levels and business reopening, it is clear to see that Mainers are eager to return to normal. However, with cases of COVID-19 still increasing in Maine daily, precaution still needs to be observed as Maine begins to reopen. In real estate, we are still navigating how we plan to return to normal while observing the best precautions for our agents and clients.

Current Status

At this time we are still holding off on open houses. We are starting to allow home-buyer appointments as long as all parties are in agreement and following safety protocols set by both the sellers and agents. Especially when viewing homes that are still occupied, we are recommending mask wearing, sanitation, and limited visits to keep all parties safe. We also are still recommending that people utilize as many remote features as possible when home-buying.

Appraisers and inspectors will still be using remote practices when possible, but may begin performing home visits while respecting everyone’s safety utilizing masks and hand washing. Agents are encouraged to continue utilizing Docusign and other remote methods for signing documents throughout the entire process. Other real estate businesses, such as title and mortgage companies, will still be utilizing remote document signing and separate closing rooms to reduce groups sizes as well to keep all parties safe.

Future Phases

While remote home-buying features and technology are not likely to ever go away, we will continue to wait-and-see how COVID-19 is progressing before we go back to more in-person appointments. As we enter Phase 3 of Maine’s Reopening and gatherings of less than 50 people will be permitted, we may possibly see open houses being allowed with some agencies. However, we still recommend avoiding in-person open houses, and opting instead for virtual open houses or scheduled appointments instead. You can check out all the information about what will be reopened for Phase 3 of “Restarting Maine’s Economy” .

There is no doubt that the way we conduct real estate will be changed forever. Becoming more reliant on remote viewing a document signing has allowed us to improve our practices to the benefit of both our home buyers and sellers. Hopefully our “new normal” will ultimately lead to more convenient, safer means of conducting real estate for both our clients and agents in the future.

My brother Jack and I co-own The Real Estate Store. I grew up and live in Scarborough, ME. I became a real estate broker in 2005, but Real Estate is a family business for us. We are second generation Real Estate Brokers. My experience working with apartments and with residential construction has given me insight into cost-aware construction and green construction and design.

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