We’re Open


Real estate is now open in Michigan; here's what to expect

Posted at 5:30 AM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 07:00:32-04

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (WXYZ) — This week will mark the first full week real estate is up and running since the state-wide shutdown. With the reopening comes some big changes in the way people shop for homes.

“We will be following CDC guidelines, like wearing masks and gloves and disinfecting,” said Maureen Francis.

Francis is the State Association President for Michigan Realtors. She worked alongside Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office to put new safety protocols in place.
Currently, open houses are not allowed, but Francis said that means more serious buyers touring homes.

“Open houses tended to be a little bit more random, it would be a neighbor wondering what their neighbor's house looks like, people out on a Saturday or Sunday looking for something to do,” Francis said.

Agents are able to do FaceTime and Zoom walk-throughs for potential buyers. If you do want to see a property in person, be prepared to sign extra paperwork.

“Clients are signing a disclosure now stating that they will have a mask and they will have gloves on and they will not touch anything during a showing,” said Francis.

Only four people will be allowed into a home at a time. Francis is encouraging families to leave kids at home.

Mark Shaftner with Keller Williams Domain in Birmingham has been in real estate for 17 years, and said there is a lot of pent-up demand from both sellers and buyers. Shaftner says if you are listing your home, right now, there is less competition.

“One of the biggest perks for sellers right now is that inventory is very low, we have a lot of homes that left the market during the lockdown and that means there’s just not as many homes on the market at the moment," said Shaftner.

Even with less homes on the market, buyers are still benefiting from low interest rates.

“We had a situation right before the pandemic started where interest rates dropped to some of the lowest levels we had ever seen in history and it was a huge refinance group, they ticked back up a little bit and have come back down,” said Shaftner.