How The Corona Virus Is Affecting Real Estate Updated May 8 2020

Dated: March 14 2020

Views: 2146

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I hope this Blog finds you all well and safe during this Pandemic.  At the time of this writing, Monroe County, PA which is in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, has approximately 1100 confirmed cases of the virus.  Schools are closed, toilet paper is a scarce commodity, and Real Estate sales in North East PA are shut down.   Pennsylvania is the only state in the United States to deem Real Estate non-essential.   I know some people in need of housing that disagree.  

1) What is the plan for reopening? The governors plan for reopening the state is a three phase plan based on state zones.  The actual zones have not been released.  All of Pennsylvania will not be moving forward with openings at the same time.  He has established,  based on case numbers three phases for moving forward.  Red phase areas are mandated "stay at home areas" with no Real Estate activities allowed.  North East PA is currently in a Red zone.  He has said that any "area" with less than 50 new cases per 100,000 people will be moved to the next "Yellow Phase,"  however;  he has not made good on this announcement.  Some counties have shown this number and he has kept them in the Red Zone.  Monroe County, Wayne, Pike, and Carbon counties are all in Red Zones.      

2) Can I see a home I'm interested in?   No.  Not in a Red Zone.  Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has mandated that all in person Real Estate business be shut down.  It is currently against the law to physically show a property to anyone in a "Red Zone." All of North East Pennsylvania is currently in a red zone.   

3) Can my Realtor do a virtual tour for me?  No.  Not of the inside of the home.  Realtors are not allowed to enter any homes for purpose of Real Estate activities. 

4) Can I list my home for sale? Yes.  However; you must take your own pictures and measurements.  Realtors are not allowed to enter your home, even if your home is vacant and even if you are not present when pictures and measurements are taken.  Seems a bit insane, I know.  I don't make the rules.  Additionally, no one can view your home, so unless you feel it can be sold sight unseen, or you have extenuating circumstances, there is really no point to list right now.  

5) Can I put an offer in on a house "sight unseen?"  Yes.  You can put an offer in on a home sight unseen.  We can write a contingency that says you are allowed to view the property before closing.  The viewing can only be after the mandates are lifted.  Any inspections and appraisals will need to be done after the mandates are lifted as well.  No home inspections, no in person appraisals are allowed in a red zone.  

Based on Governor Tom Wolfs mandates, North East Pennsylvania will not be considered for moving out of the Red Zone until after June 4th.  The House of Representatives has passed a bill to allow real estate to resume in the Commonwealth, it is currently awaiting vote in the Senate.  Tom Wolf has also been sued by a Realtor in our area, and we are waiting with baited breath on that outcome as well.  

If you would like to show your support to resume safe Real Estate sales in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, please consider sending a message to our Governor.  

https://www.governor.pa.gov/contact/#OnlineForm


I am still available to help you with your real estate needs to the best of my ability during this trying time.  Please feel free to call me with any questions 570-406-5900. 

In the meantime, stay safe, stay well.  


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Tamara Almquist

Hello! My name is Tami Almquist. I've lived in the Pocono Mountains since 1984, after moving with my family from New Jersey to Paradise Valley while still in grammar school. I obtained my Bachelors of....

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