The changing leaves this Fall have been spectacular! The first pop of color felt so bright and beautiful. But shortly after, there was a new display that seemed like the most beautiful moment. And then a bit later, things changed to “peak” conditions and the original pop of color was a distant memory. Each progression was so riveting, it felt like time stood still. But in all actuality, it happened so quickly. That’s what our COVID journey has felt like – a progression of captivating changes that happened faster than what it felt like in the moment.
In the beginning, working with sellers to gather information for market evaluations was not difficult. Many properties in our market are second homes or cabins, so our data collection was often a solo mission at the property. We could also discuss our market evaluations with sellers without meeting in person. It worked pretty well. But quickly, we found we had to evolve our behaviors so we could meet and interact with some sellers in person. We kept our distance as best we could and donned masks for our presentations and discussions. Through foggy eyeglasses, we got things done. Then, many people felt comfortable without masks and no one wanted to wear them. Now we’re back to masks.
For showings with buyers, we started by wearing gloves, sanitizing surfaces and keeping our distance for in-person showings. Then, we ditched the gloves and sanitizers and got by with social distancing and hand washing. We tirelessly watched for new listings on the MLS morning-to-night so our buyers wouldn’t miss an opportunity. New listings would attract multiple offers within the first couple of days on the market. We ran like we were being chased. Now, we’re wearing masks. But the inventory has dwindled so much that buyers have little or nothing to choose from. So the running has slowed to a purposeful walk.
Closing Day in our business is a big deal. It’s a celebration. It’s a letting go. It’s a final wrap-up of the entire selling process where everyone can meet, share information and the keys are passed to new owners. Sometimes there are tears and many times there are hugs…but at the very least, there are handshakes. At first, the rug was pulled out from that whole scene. Agents couldn’t attend closings and our clients were kept in separate spaces at the title company. Then things loosened up and agents and lenders were welcomed back to the party. Attempts were made at distancing, but few masks were worn. Now, everyone wears masks.
Our journey has been, by no means, the poster child for how things should have been done. It’s simply what happened.
Much like Thanksgiving is a symbolic marker of the end of Fall, where we count our blessings and there is a piece of pie for everyone. We can look back on our year of COVID and feel thankful. It’s been a heck of a journey but it’s certainly not done. Because the real estate market is never done. It just keeps changing and moving forward and we’d like more pie, please. ~ Wanda Boldon