Coronavirus Impact: Future of North Bay real estate in limbo as cases of COVID-19 surface – KGO

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) — Signs reading, ‘For Sale’ still line the North Bay’s residential streets, but since COVID-19 virus entered the picture, they may be remnants of a hot marketplace.

In such an environment, Matt Hughes, a sales manager for Compass Real Estate, would love to have a crystal ball.

“I think it will go market by market. I think certain price segments will be hit harder than others,” he said.

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In Novato, a seller named Katie waits anxiously. Her home went on the market, Saturday, but not one potential buyer has toured the house because real estate is not an essential business.

Agent Deborah Solvason a video she shot on her phone to show, but nothing else.

“Could the timing have been worse?” we asked.

“I don’t think so.”

Katie continued. “We’re lucky we got the work done prior to this happening. Painting, contractors, finishing odds and ends.”

“COVID-19 has already impacted real estate and marketing. New rules now allow that if a homeowner pulls his house from the multiple listings, the clock stops. If they list it as coming soon, that period has been extended to 100 days. And, if a deal goes bad due to complications for coronavirus, there will be no contractual penalties.”

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“My bigger concern for the market is a loss of jobs,” said Matt Huges. “That could impact inventory and soften pricing. But, many of the people moving to Marin are doing so from the city, and they’re doing well.”

Since March 1, owners of roughly 20-percent of homes for sale have taken them off the market, and that, in what should be the hottest time of the year. It could have long-term effects, or not.

“I think it will delay the market into May, June, July,” said Debora Solvason. Summer may be stronger than it would have been otherwise.

They are first-world problems, but very real for players in the real estate game.

“People need to move and to buy and sell and I am hoping things do spring back,” said Katie.


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