COVID-19: Staying Ahead of the Wave of Repercussions

Posted by Lyndsey M. O'Connell | Mar 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

These are uncertain times, that's the only thing we are sure of right now. While courts and clerks are closing, toilet paper is disappearing and the stock market is plummeting, what is happening with the real estate market?

Well in some aspects, business as usual. In others, it is slow motion chaos. Title companies, mortgage lenders and other real estate professionals are working hard to close pending deals within the confines of this quarantine. However, the logistics of that are being tested to their outer limits. We are seeing extensions of loan objection deadlines, closing dates and terminations. Also affecting the transactions, is multiple Colorado counties' e-recording and clerk's offices closing. In a race-notice state, this could be a huge issue down the road.

Outside of the transaction is the effect on sales. When there is a worldwide pandemic that is spread through contact with others, inviting the world into your home is not appealing. We are seeing everything from a complete shut-down of showings/inspections to limited access with direction of sanitizing and disclosure to a digital viewings and inspections. For those who did not stop the show, what if someone contracts it in their home, or they contract from a visitor? Did they owe one another a duty of disclosure of their symptoms? These are questions that we will likely hear a lot of in the coming year.

How will it affect sales and transactional work? Likely in a negative way. We were told there could be a downturn coming and I think this might be it. We are going to see foreclosures, evictions, rush of inventory and a likely reduction in value in some areas. Although mortgage lenders, utility providers and landlords have been told that because of the number of people out of work, implementation of some sort of moratorium on action is necessary, it doesn't ease the unrest about whether it will happen. This halt is not permanent.

With that said, be in front of the wave of repercussions that will come from this. Be proactive now. If you are in a contract for purchase or sale of a property and are unsure of the rights or duties, contact an attorney. You could be faced with quarantine delays, appraisal delays or other delays outside of your control. A COVID-19 addendum may be necessary to protect the parties. If you need out of a contract or listing, seek guidance now and do not assume that the circumstances are a defensible reason to breach or terminate. COVID-19 notices may be necessary, and should not be assumed. Start dialogues about solutions and work arounds. Seek guidance on resources and how to best utilize them. 

Take this time of quarantine and uncertainty to assess its effects and prepare for them! You'll be steps ahead of the next person.

The information contained on this blog is intended to be general information only and not legal advice. This blog topic is not intended to be fully comprehensive. For these reasons, we suggest you seek a licensed attorney to help you review and revise your buy and sell contracts to reflect the current state of affairs, as well as, to assist in current and future effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

About the Author

Lyndsey M. O'Connell

Lyndsey is a Mississippi native who has found a place to call home in Colorado. She attended high school in the Mississippi Delta at St. Joseph Catholic School. She attended college at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, obtaining her BS in Special Education. Post-graduation, Lyndsey spent ...


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