COVID-19’s impact on local real estate: ‘You’re not really seeing as many open houses right now’

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As Governor Ralph Northam continues to ask people to stay at home, those selling houses have taken extra steps to keep their properties safe from the coronavirus, and any unwanted guest.

A ‘For Sale’ sign in front of a home is normally a welcome sight for potential home buyers. Now, it has a bit of a different feel while many are quarantined, explains one local real estate agent.

“We’re not really doing giant groups,” Kevin Long told 8News. “You’re not really seeing as many open houses right now.”  

Long says agencies are looking to protect their properties amid the coronavirus pandemic by having hand sanitizer available during house showings. Agencies are also asking potential buyers to was their hands, keep their distance, and avoid overlapping at different showings.

“But overall we’re trying to really get out there and continue showing houses and go to work,” Long said.

Police departments in Henrico and Richmond told 8News they haven’t seen any increases in breaking and entering as a result of locals self-isolating. Long agrees, adding that he believes it’s because everyone is staying inside.

“More people are around, more people are aware,” Long said, suggesting that his concerns for break-ins are low. “I mean, you have ring doorbells and everyone is on video camera somewhere. So I think things have gotten safer, but people have more free time right now so they may end up doing something stupid.”

If you’re worried about any potential break-ins to your properties, Long suggests making it look like someone is occupying the space. You can do this by leaving a light on, maintaining the yard, having a car out front, in addition to other things.

“People won’t be as attracted to it,” he adds. “They see something that’s definitely not being lived in or no one’s been around, they’re definitely more apt to break into something like that.”

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