I always like to start things off with a story when I can, because they’re so much more visual & entertaining than just a straight dump of factual information. But sometimes stories can come across as a little tone-deaf, especially in the shadow of bigger things like world-wide pandemics.
Our criminal justice system is designed to err on the side of the accused, with the belief that even though we don’t want to let the guilty go unpunished, if faced with one or the other, it’s better to have someone guilty be acquitted than to have someone innocent be convicted.
There are a lot of feelings, theories, speculation, and even accusations regarding the Coronavirus. We won’t know for sure who’s right, who’s wrong, how bad it was, or what really happened until it’s all over and the dust has settled, but in the meantime, I fall into the camp of those who, if faced with having to choose one over the other, would rather err on the side of caution.
Like most other businesses trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy right now, the buying & selling of real estate continues. But also like them it’s not quite the same.
Showing homes has suddenly become a little more complicated. Listing appointments now must integrate some manner of social distancing into the agenda. And along with all of the usual uncertainties that buyers & sellers normally have to contend with suddenly comes a brand-new set of unknowns which include, among other things, the very future itself.
People who never worried about employment before are suddenly unemployed. People who had a comfortable financial portfolio are seeing that virtual wealth is sometimes just that; virtual. Small businesses are up against the wall. And who knows what tomorrow may bring.
It is because of this uncertainty that the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® has introduced a special addendum to specifically address the COVID-19 crisis and afford additional protections for both buyers and sellers of residential property.
Used in conjunction with the standard Offer to Purchase and Contract, the addendum is an agreement between the seller and buyer that permits certain extensions and establishes the rights of the parties to cancel the contract in the event that COVID-19 related issues make it impossible or improbable to close.
The addendum is not required to be used but is being made available for all NC REALTORS® to use in their transactions as needed.
While many people will no doubt defer the purchase or sale of a home until the present crisis has passed – or at least until we have a better idea of what the ultimate fallout will be – for those who don’t have the option of waiting this is one thing that can help ease the transition, provide some peace of mind, and protect both buyers and sellers from being unfairly penalized should an unforeseen circumstance arise due to COVID-19.
It is my sincere wish that we are all able to weather the current storm and make it to calmer waters. Keep your cool. Use your head. Stay safe.
Please let me know if you have any questions by calling 252-876-8267 or sending an email.
By Contributing Author, Blaine Staat, Weichert Realtors – At Rivers Edge