Real estate agencies in Lebanon, just like everywhere else, are grappling with a new reality. Just as it affected every aspect of our lives in so many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic had a strong impact on the real estate markets around the world. People are forced to change their life habits and to search for alternative ways of living. Isolation and physical distance have been the main triggers that made people rethink their former housing and living conditions.
Some have needed larger living space to spend isolation time with their families in a more comfortable way, while others realized it was better for them to seek a new home outside the big cities. Some people simply lost their jobs and had to move to smaller properties, in order to reorganize their financial construction.
Oregon wasn’t an exception. Brokers in Lebanon, OR, or elsewhere face similar requests and issues. We will try to examine them more closely.
People are moving, renting, buying, and selling homes even during the pandemic. While some urban areas, in densely populated cities, have faced troubles caused by the fact that COVID-19 had forced people to social distance themselves, the real estate industry in suburban and rural areas expanded due to the very same reason.
Homes for sale in Manhattan may have lost their value and their rental prices are dropping, but houses for sale in Lebanon, Oregon may have increased in value. Moreover, the National Association of Realtors reported in summer 2020 that the sales of previously owned homes in the United States rose almost 25%.
Why is this the case? First of all, people are seeking a sheltered place to hide while their safety is at risk. Secondly, they want to find peace and comfort during hard times, moving away from the politically-entangled dense cities, and seeking a quiet and cozy place to live. Finally, in most cases, the pandemic made the properties more affordable, since the mortgage rates became lower than they used to be.
Another interesting fact is that, even though the travel industry has suffered the most severe consequences during the COVID-19 outreach, travelers opt for private accommodation much more than for hotels. Vacation rentals became in demand more than hotels, no matter how luxurious they are.
Since the pandemic started, the real estate market in Oregon has become one of the most essential industries. Demand for housing remained high in spite of the general economic downturn. Even during the slower season in the state, what is considered to be the fall, home buyers continued to search for new homes. Oregon’s suburban richness is the key reason for this new trend.
One of the most popular cities in Oregon for moving in during 2020 was Bend. People called it ZoomTown, as a reference to the Zoom platform, used by mobile workers who move there for working remotely. The demand for houses became so high that it surpassed the supply. People from all over the country have been moving to Bend, mostly from San Francisco and other parts of California. It is a good example of how a small town can offer an improved quality of life during the pandemic, compared to the Bay Area.
On 30 June 2020, the Governor of Oregon declared “the Oregon Statute,” in response to the pandemic. It declared an emergency period, establishing temporary limitations on the lender’s ability to enforce default remedies (penalties, charges, fees, etc.) against borrowers who failed to pay a mortgage loan. The only requirement is that the borrower should notify the lender about their inability to pay. Also, the Statute allows lenders and borrowers to make other agreements following the statutory regulations.
We are witnessing how technology transforms our jobs and industries, mostly for the better. It made property management easier than it used to be. Thanks to it, we can now search for, buy, or sell homes online, without even meeting the real estate agent. Those who search for homes for sale in Lebanon, or elsewhere in Oregon, can also use this possibility.
The office of the Oregon Real Estate Agency has been closed to the public since the beginning of the pandemic. Agency employees work remotely, avoiding contacts as much as possible.
Safety measures have been reconsidered and upgraded recently, with the surge in COVID-19 cases across the United States. Staff members in any industry, including real estate, are directed to follow social distancing policies set by the Oregon Health Authority. Lebanon, Oregon real estate wasn’t an exception.
Agencies realized on time the need for a change since the deal with the most intimate places for people – their homes. Furthermore, during pandemic people became aware of the fact that their houses are the only place they can always feel secure.
Thus, working with people’s private safe places requires respect and consideration for public health. Therefore, there are some new protocols that realtors around the state try to follow during the showings. Foremost, agents should have in mind the changes in people’s habits, caused by homeschooling, work from home, or simply avoiding allowing strangers to enter their home for the showing. Agents should be more flexible with people’s time and space.
Both national and local associations of realtors suggest limited contacts between brokers and clients, in order to avoid safety risks as much as possible. Online meetings and digital document signing can be of particular help. Be sure to hire the best real estate agencies in Lebanon, Eugene, or Corvallis to meet those requirements.
Finally, yet importantly, sanitation and mask requirements are an absolute must during these hard times. It is mandatory when entering someone’s home, whether you are a potential buyer or an agent. It is also inappropriate right not to touch anything while looking or showing someone’s home.
A responsible real estate agent should take care of these issues, paying attention to the safety protocols being consistently followed. At the same time, they should continue providing clients with the best offers possible.
Since the new global situation during the outreach of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us rethink our living and housing habits, it is no wonder we started to look at our homes in a different light. They became our everyday sanctuary, our safe zone, and the safest place to run away from the risky crowds.
People buy new homes, sell or renovate the old ones, arrange them with plants, new furniture, and decoration more than ever. The role of real estate agencies in this process is of utmost importance. They should provide a useful, concise, and safe transaction to each customer, in order to protect their job and to keep it successful.
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