As we all do our part to stay at home, work safe, and help contain this awful virus, some of life still goes on. In some limited cases, real estate is considered an essential service by Harris County’s “Stay Home-Work Safe” order. In most cases, Norhill Realty is taking the position that we need to limit our social interactions and the interactions of our clients as much as possible However, some people might be in a position where they have to move or close on a home for a variety of justifiable reasons. Here are some recommendations on how to navigate this strange new world and make sure you are protecting our community at the same time:
- You can still close on your home if needed. Under certain circumstances, real estate is considered an “essential service” under the stay home/work safe order, so title companies are still closing real estate transactions. In our experience, title companies are taking their response to Covid-19 very seriously. They are restricting the number of people at closing to principals to the contract only. They are taking serious steps to disinfect and keep their conference rooms clean. In many cases, they can also come to you, so you don’t have to leave your home. Call your title company and discuss what plan they have to protect the community during this time.
- Postponing your closing. To limit your social interactions, you may decide it is best to postpone your closing if you are able. For those involved in the sale or purchase of a home, the Texas Association of Realtors has just published the COVID-19 Addendum. This document provides for a 30-day extension of the closing date in a residential sales contract if the closing cannot occur due to a voluntary or mandatory COVID-19 quarantine or closure. Ask your Realtor for help.
- You may have to move yourself. Obviously, you want to isolate yourself during this time as much as possible. If you are able, it might be best to go ahead and move yourself.
- Hire a serious moving company. Some moving companies are still working, especially outside of Harris County and other non-stay at home order counties. However, make sure they have set strict Covid-19 policies in place for their movers. Some Houston area moving companies are requiring daily temperature checks of all of the movers.
- If you move into a new home, deep clean it. Here are a few resources and tips that may help:
- CDC has some recommendations on how to clean and sanitize your home
- EPA’s list of disinfectants that they believe works best in the fight against COVID-19.
- Use disinfectant wipes for quick cleanings over the most high-touch areas – doorknobs, sinks, cabinet pulls, refrigerators, etc.
- Use disinfectant sprays for areas that can’t be wiped clean. You can use Lysol, for example, on your couches and mattresses which will touch many surfaces during a move (the ground, the inside of a truck, etc.).
Again, it is critical that we maintain the social distancing standard of keeping six feet between you and anyone else. It will help us all get through this pause of life much more quickly, so we all need to do our best during this difficult time.
We would also like to let you know that Norhill Realty is working remotely and happy to answer any of your questions regarding the state of the market, your future purchase, or future sale. The market is down, but we are confident it will come back and we will get back to some semblance for normalcy in the not to distant future. Feel free to give us a call at 713-869-5700 or fill out the form below and we will match you with an agent.