Can I Buy, Sell, or Lease Austin, Texas Real Estate during these COVID-19 times?

Question. Can I, the consumer or principal Buy, Sell, or Lease Austin, Texas Real Estate during these COVID-19 times?

Short Answer: YES, you can.

I like you, fellow reader have been just as shell-shocked in regards to the COVID-19 Epidemic. In addition, the ambiguous and morphing press release news and guidelines from the City of Austin, Austin Board of Realtors (ABOR), the State of Texas, and the Federal Government have been constantly evolving and are often confusing. Have you been confused? Who are we supposed to believe? What non-action or actionable steps should we as working, upright citizens take?

Here is how our local Austin, Texas Real Estate Marketplace, Agents, Community and Title Companies appear to be working through these unique and quite honestly awful times.

Here is  a MARKET SnapShot directly from our ABOR, Matrix MLS system.  As you'll see here on 4.2.2020, there are still 26 NEW Active MLS Listings today. There are 12 Pending Listings. There are even 15 Closed, Sold  and Funded Properties! Yes, the globe is still spinning and Central Texas Real Estate Transactions facilitated by licensed work realtors are happening. Realtors have always been a driven, busy-bee and positive thinking collective.

Here are some changes to the Austin Texas Real Estate PROCESS and atmosphere I'm personally noticing.

--Advertising Listing Agents are prominently highlighting VIRTUAL TOURS, and property PHOTOS even MORE than before. To curtail showings, to more "serious" prospects and limit possible germ proliferation, Consumers and Principals are strongly encouraged to do as much pre-showing, pre-approach, and property research at home & from afar as possible.

---Property Owners with VACANT properties for Sale or for Lease, appear to be the most friendly and conducive for Active MLS Status. "6 feet away" Social Distance Showings are the new normal. In so far as coordination, I as an agent and you as a consumer will have an easier time gaining physical real access and showings to VACANT property. Fully Occupied Properties are trickier to show. OPEN HOUSES have pretty much been banned and removed for the time being. Group Property In-person Tours are also over.

--GVM's once booming Off-Market LOT discovery for New Build SPEC Developers has hit a roadblock. The Residential Spec Builders generally have pulled out of contracts and stopped buying.  Some Spec Builders have even begun trying to sell their owned spec build LOTS. 

--Owners with VACATION Investment Property Rentals, or Short Term Entertainment Hotel-esque type leases appear to be Hurting. Events are all being cancelled. No one is flying, and even if you did go somewhere nothing is open. The Nation has turned into a ghost town. Thus one former client and real estate owner informed me he is converting his vacation rental properties into traditional longer term tenant all bills paid rentals.

Here are some items, the Real Estate Industry has already been doing which will make this new COVID-19 ERA of business, less stressful.

--The Continuation of DOCUSIGN and Online Web, or Email Based Real Estate Contract & Lease Signing. I have been gainfully using the software program DOCUSIGN for 8-10 years, and will continue to do so. DOCUSIGN allows people to formally and officially sign contracts from the comfort of their home, laptop and phone. 

-Chicago Title Barton Skyway (Austin Silent Market's preferred and go-to Title Company for Closings) are doing Mobile Notaries, Curbside Notaries at the Client's Car, or they'll even go to your house. Clients still have the option to meet in the CAFE of Chicago Title's Barton Skyway Office Location. Chicago Title still has 4 workers physically in the actual office to serve and assist.

Got a Real Estate Question? How can I serve your Real Estate Life today and in the future? George Vance McGee Licensed Texas Real Estate Agent. ATX local. 512.657.9281 iphone,