BANGOR – The real estate business is considered essential in Maine, and it has continued to do its part during the pandemic. At the end of March, houses were still being put on the market and selling at their normal rates.
“Things may have slowed slightly just to adjust to whatever changes the state is asking us to make to still be safe and responsible but the market is still moving,” said Julie Williams, owner of ERA Dawson Bradford Real Estate. “One of the unique things about real estate is that it really is an economic driver, and I think that’s why it’s partially a priority for the governor to allow it to continue.”
The National Association of Realtors estimates that every time a home is purchased, $45,000-65,000 goes back into the local economy.
Even with social distancing becoming a “normal” practice, it wasn’t unusual to view a house through virtual touring.
But there still have been some issues with finishing the ownership.
Co-owner of Realty of Maine Beth Roybal is pushing for new virtual ways to finalize transactions for home closure.
“The state of Maine does not recognize E-Notarization yet, so we are really pushing hard for that to be accepted now, and its been something that we, through National Association of Realtors and Maine Association of Realtors, even our local board have asked for,” Roybal said.
Real estate sales are not showing signs of slowing down yet, but Associate Broker for Realty of Maine Michael Cole said they are having issues verifying buyers’ income due to the high number of people out of work.
“Thing that really hurts is how to verify anyone’s income now,” Cole said. “A lot of people aren’t paying rent right now. We do have buyers looking to purchase multi-unit buildings, and talking to the owners, they’re not filling those vacant units right now, they’re not leaving them open or advertising them.”
Even with issues arising, agents and owners understand everyone has a part to play in keeping the economy moving.