How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Real Estate in New York

There is hardly a place in the world that didn't feel the impact of COVID-19. Tourist locations took a significant hit at first, and it was pretty uncertain how they would survive the following months. And even larger cities saw notable changes in both the job market and real estate. So, it is only natural to wonder how COVID-19 has reshaped real estate in New York. In this article, we will try to sum up how the complex system that is NYC real estate has been affected by the recent pandemic.

How COVID-19 impacted NYC

To understand the impact of COVID-19, it is essential to keep in mind that it is a long-lasting, ongoing process. While it is easy to sum up the effect of a hurricane or a flood, the impact of a pandemic such as COVID-19 is usually much more complex. So, don't expect that we will understand the full scope of things for some time to come. As it is with most historical events, a certain amount of time needs to pass before analysts can agree on what truly unfolded.

Working from home

Once COVID-19 hit, most companies that could afford to implement remote work did so. While before it seemed impossible that so many people could work from home, COVID-19 convinced us that it is quite possible. As schools also went online, it became pretty difficult to live, work, and raise kids in the same space. Family relationships became quite strenuous in limited NYC apartments, and many people soon had a difficult choice to make.

Working from home became a reality for a large number of people.

Working from home became a reality for a large number of people.

Namely, for a substantial number of people, living in NYC was a work-related necessity. After a year or two, they decided that they wanted a family. But, when it comes to specific industries, it can be pretty tricky to find decent work outside large cities like NYC. So, to avoid stress and risk, they simply decided to raise their families in the Big Apple, no matter how cramped their apartments became. But, once working from home became a reality, it started to matter less and less where your home was. So, people began looking for places outside of NYC to settle in.

No NYC nightlife

Besides family people, you had young professionals who stayed in NYC simply for the nightlife. When it comes to clubs, restaurants, theatres, and art events, only a handful of places in the world can compete with NYC. This is why a lot of people decide to live out their twenties and early thirties here. Going out every weekend and enjoying all NYC has to offer.

Unfortunately, once COVID-19 hit, the nightlife was the first to go. All the glitz and glamour was closed off to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. As you can imagine, this caused a fair bit of stress for these young professionals. After all, they grew pretty accustomed to regular nights out.

Put the previous two together, and you'll soon see one of the most significant impacts that COVID-19 has had on New York real estate - a large number of people leaving it. As it is now, estimates vary as it can be hard to determine who left NYC for good and who plans to come back. Still, we are talking about over a hundred thousand people that left the metropolitan region. And if we take a look at NYC as a whole, over 300.000 people left permanently.

A New York Times article regarding Coronavirus The initial reports regarding COVID-19 in NYC were quite frightening.

The initial reports regarding COVID-19 in NYC were quite frightening.

As newspapers like to call it, this mass exodus leads to a sharp drop in demand for rental apartments in NYC. For a while, you could get a terrific apartment with parking for a fraction of its previous cost. After all, landlords had to find some way to make ends meet. And offering cheaper apartments seemed like the only feasible option. On the other hand, moving companies thrived as a ton of people suddenly needed help with relocation. But, as you can learn from, this sudden surge in relocation wasn't meant to last.

Once things settled down

While it seemed that there would be no one left to live in NYC, things quickly settled down. While a decent chunk of the population did leave, a fairly large percentage remained. And as things went back to normal (as normal as possible), people soon started going back to old ways of life.

Renting in NYC

As it is now, both renting and the average renting cost are back on track. While there was a notable drop during the hiatus of the first wave of COVID-19, things have stabilized. Nowadays, you can pretty much assume that your NYC apartment would cost you as if there was no pandemic to speak of.

An empty street in NYC representing one way in which Covid has reshaped real estate in New York

The initial ways in which Covid-19 has reshaped real estate in New York soon lost their impact.

Buying in NYC

The homebuyer market in NYC remained surprisingly stable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though people left, there was no significant drop in home costs. After all, living in the Big Apple still has its appeal.

The only notable difference is with commercial real estate. As people started working from home, companies soon realized they had little need for large commercial spaces. So, more companies began to work solely online, therefore lessening the need for buying or renting commercial space. If you do plan on purchasing office space in NYC, be aware of potential dangers.

Final thoughts on how COVID-19 has reshaped real estate in New York

When trying to decipher how the pandemic has reshaped real estate in New York, you need to look beyond the obvious factors. We've listed so far only the aspects of real estate that are related to renting and buying. But, to truly see how COVID-19 has impacted the Big Apple, some time needs to pass. The lockdowns, the protests, the restrictive measures have impacted NYC as a whole. And, by proxy, will impact NYC real estate.

The Best Cities for Real Estate Agents in 2021

Suppose you're starting your career as a real estate agent or considering moving to another city with better possibilities. In that case, you're probably wondering which places in the U.S. have the most promising markets. Let's look at the list of the best cities to be a real estate agent in 2021.

Key points to consider

The following list of the best cities to be a real estate agent in 2021 is made according to these key points:

  • What is the real estate agent's median salary in this city? Income is likely the most important factor to consider when starting a career or moving elsewhere.
  • What’s the cost of living in this city? A high salary in an expensive city is usually less attractive than a lower salary in an affordable town. So, it would be best if you considered the affordability.
  • Is there a demand for real estate agents in this city? If there’s a high median income and low cost of living, that’s great, but are there enough job opportunities?
  • Home turnover rate - It's essential to check the percentage of sold properties in the previous year in a particular city.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is one of the most important metropolitan destinations in the U.S. It's not just because of the film business and fantastic scenery, but also because of the amazing architecture, excellent restaurants, and many brilliant tech companies. It's one of the most ethnically expansive and diverse cities which is constantly evolving. Therefore, the Los Angeles area attracts the wealthiest people. Licensed real estate agents have great opportunities to open their horizons and service the most eccentric clients with many creative ideas.

Los Angeles - One of the best cities to be a real estate agent in 2021

L.A. is a city where you can have many wealthy clients and excellent commissions.

Newport Beach, California

There is a wide variety of properties in Newport Beach, California, and many have very high values. Therefore, this city attracts many different types of buyers. There are many popular types of homes available, such as:

  • Charming homes on the sand
  • Luxurious homes on the water
  • Exclusive villas with ocean views
  • Standard homes

Even though a good knowledge of the overall market is necessary to operate here, real estate agents can make a great network and expect very high compensation for their work.

New York City, New York

New York is known as the city that never sleeps, which is especially true for real estate. Real estate agents here often show properties until 9 PM and take calls even after that time. Then, when a new day starts, they are busy again with morning meetings from as early as 7 AM.

If you want to be a real estate agent in this city, you must plan to be very flexible with your time, as the demand for apartments is very high. New York is great for agents who are hard-working, reliable, precise, confident, and ready to improve their skills constantly. Furthermore, markets with a young population, such as New York City, are suitable for an agent specialized in rentals.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle tops this list of the best cities to be a real estate agent in 2021. Homes here don't stay long on the market, and there are solid real estate job opportunities. In addition, Seattle's robust tech industry and many other factors draw people to move there and buy real estate.

Seattle skyline

Seattle has a strong real estate market and many job opportunities.

Austin, Texas

Austin is a very affordable place to live, and it offers many innovative amenities. That’s what attracts many homebuyers. Agents with a Texas real estate license can expect to have a higher salary than the country’s average.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale ranks very high in the number of real estate agent jobs. The city's median single-family home price rises each year, so agent’s commissions become bigger as well.

Tampa, Florida

Tampa offers attractive home prices, which are pretty low compared to other markets in Florida. So, homes here sell very fast. Homebuyers are amazed by:

  • Beautiful waterfront parks
  • Large public bike trails
  • Gorgeous tree-lined streets
  • Picturesque historic neighborhoods
  • Modern skyscrapers and a bustling downtown
  • Countless cultural institutions
  • And, of course, mild and sunny weather throughout the year.

That's also why real estate agents love living and working here (in addition to a good salary and thriving real estate market).

Denver, Colorado

Denver is currently one of the leading real estate markets in the entire U.S. There is a high demand for homes, lots of cash investors, so homes sell very fast in general. As a result, agents can find many work opportunities here, and this trend will probably continue in the future.

Denver landscape

Denver is one of the best cities to be a real estate agent in 2021.

Washington, D.C.

The nation's capital is excellent for real estate agents because it offers plenty of opportunities. The city ranks very high in terms of agents' annual median wage and real-estate employment growth. In addition, D.C.’s overall job market is strong. There are many jobs in Government, the tech industry, and the hospitality industry, so more and more people are buying homes here after finding a perfect job. Therefore, real estate agents are in high demand.

Moving your business to one of the best cities to be a real estate agent

Moving your business to a different location is never easy. Thus, those real estate agents who decide to transfer their businesses elsewhere should make an informed decision and consider all the crucial factors and pros and cons of moving to a particular city. Moving your business consists of many time-consuming tasks, so it can take weeks to plan. Support and help from your family and friends may be very helpful in this process. Also, you should make to-do lists and hire adequate professional service for many tasks ahead of you. With a good plan and good organization, the relocation of your business can be smooth and successful, and you can continue with your work in no time.


Real estate agents have many great options for life and work throughout the U.S. Each of the listed best cities to be a real estate agent in 2021 has favorable conditions where you can thrive. Of course, not every city suits every lifestyle, but after doing thorough research, you’ll be able to determine which one is ideal for you.

Pending Home Sales Grow In March; Point to Strong Future

While the real estate industry has stayed relatively strong amidst the pandemic, there have still been difficulties over this past year. Some big ones are historic demand coupled with rising home prices and low inventory.

Thankfully, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there’s some good news on the horizon! In a recent study, they found that pending home sales increased by 1.9% after two consecutive months of decline.

What does this mean for you and your potential sales this year? Read on to find out.

Positive Outlooks Abound

The rise in pending home sales (a forward-looking indicator of closed sales based on contract signings), is seen by many in the industry as a sign of a strong recovery this year and beyond.

With lowering COVID-19 infection rates, increasing vaccination rates, and an expected economic boom, NAR analysts are cautiously optimistic that some of the recent issues that have plagued the industry may ease up over the next few years.

Possible Low Inventory Improvements

One reason industry leaders expect a rise in housing supply this year due to the continuing rise of demand - and the new construction that needs to match. 

“The increase in pending sales transactions for the month of March is indicative of high housing demand,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. “Low inventory has been a consistent problem, but more inventory will show up as new home construction intensifies in the coming months, as well as from a steady wind-down of the mortgage forbearance program." 

“Although these moves won't immediately replenish low supply,” Yun continued, “they will be a step forward.”

If you have clients who are struggling to find a home that meets their needs or budget, this year may be the year where something opens up for them!

Homes under construction

Industry experts expect an intense summer construction season will help curb the low inventory problem.

Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae, said the supply of existing homes for sale and an elevated level of new homes sold — but not yet constructed — should help bolster a strong construction pace of new housing starts as we move into the spring buying season.

According to NAR’s data, existing-home sales are projected to rise by 10% in 2021 to reach 6.2 million in 2021, while the median home price is anticipated to increase by 9% in 2021 to $323,900. Housing starts are forecasted to reach 1.6 million in 2021 and 1.7 million in 2022, providing much-needed relief to the housing inventory deficit.

No matter what lies ahead, we’re confident that you will help make your client’s housing dreams a reality. Remember, if you need anything - whether it’s insight on new industry strategies or professional development classes that advance your career, we’re here to help! 



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Tips For Working With First Time Home Buyers

Looking for a potentially untapped market in your area that could help you increase your client base? According to a February survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), first time home buyers accounted for 43% of new home sales.

First time home buyers often need a lot of extra help due to their inexperience and the overwhelming nature of home buying. That’s where you come in. Here are some helpful tips and resources for working with renters and other potential first time home buyers. 

Tips For Making Unbeatable Offers

In order for your clients to buy their dream house, they may need to take extra steps to beat the current "low stock" market.

Although there are a lot more first time home buyers right now, we’re also in the middle of a “low inventory” market. Here is some helpful advice, courtesy of Realtor Magazine, that can help your hopeful homeowners beat the “competition.”

  • Put in an escalation clause - the buyer must be willing to go a certain amount over the best offer.
  • Waive contingencies. If the appraisal comes in low, the buyer doesn’t ask for a lower price.
  • Put a bigger, earnest deposit down. This last suggestion can be a major pain point for many first time buyers, so here are some resources you can share with them.

Down Payment Assistance Resources

Managing Your Client’s Expectations

As you know, the market can be fickle. Even when you help your client do everything they can to get the house they want, the low interest rates, high demand, and “low stock” market may make your client want to stretch a little too far. But according to Lutalo McGee, owner and managing broker of Ani Real Estate, and team leader of The McGee Team in Chicago, you need to ensure they don’t do this. 

“You don’t want your clients to overspend or buy a house they later regret,” McGee says. “You need to prepare clients to be emotionally prepared for the possibility of finding a home they didn’t envision, or for paying more than they expected.”

McGee says once you look at the comps, pricing trends, and average time on the market, you need to be forthright with your client and tell them if they need to move on to another property that will work better for them.

What are some ways you’ve been helping first time home buyers? Let us know on social media!



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The Impact of Remote Working on the Housing Market

Some people still remember the old dial-up internet connection. Sometimes, it would take as long as a minute to load a particular page. And imagining doing any kind of serious work was a completely absurd thought. Fortunately, things are entirely different now. Today, almost everyone has access to high-speed internet connections. And the majority of businesses use it, one way or another. It is one of the backbones of whole industries, and functioning without it now seems impossible. As a result, working from home and even attending professional development courses from home have also become an ordinary thing, especially lately. However, that brings specific changes in how businesses operate and from where. Meanwhile, employees, employers, and real estate agents are starting to wonder about the impact of remote working on the housing market.

How significant is the impact of remote working on the housing market?

Given the recent changes forced upon the business world by inconvenient medical events, everyone is trying to adapt. And chances are, after all the adaption is complete, the remote working trend will remain for a while. Maybe even for good. If the researches are true, remote working is reducing business costs. In addition, it increases productivity by a significant measure. With such unexpected results, the housing market will have to adjust accordingly.

So let's take a look at current and possible changes we might expect:

Some people will leave expensive cities.

Besides those who really enjoy the city crowd, most of the workforce will probably leave large cities. Places like New York and San Francisco are costly, and most people who live there do so only because of their jobs. But, if you give them the opportunity to keep the job and live in a more affordable location, you can guess the outcome. Having a well-paid job without worrying about monthly bills is definitely a just goal. With this in mind, some of the residents are already calculating their moving budgets. As a real estate agent, you'll have to adapt and offer some tips to your clients. Looking in the long run, this will probably lower the demand in those expensive places. With lower demand, prices will undoubtedly go down. Eventually, it will balance the discrepancies that have lasted for quite some time now.

A pass between two buildings in one of the business centers.

There is no need to stay in large business centers with remote working.

Remote working will affect the demand for specific housing options.

With more people shifting toward remote working, a large percentage of those will work from home. With this in mind, many are already implementing a home office. Those who haven't, but plan to relocate, are now looking for different housing options. Because now they can afford a more spacious home, the home office has become one of the requirements. And not only that. Once you have the opportunity to customize your working space, the appetite rises. As they need to spend more time at home, they will need larger outdoors and even indoor gyms. People will ask for modern, tech-oriented features, like hi-tech appliances and energy-efficient solutions. Most older homes will have to go through the renovation stage to stay competitive on the market.

The contractor installing solar panels on the roof.

A lot of older houses will require contractors to implement energy-efficient solutions.

Even real estate is going remote.

Brokers will face difficult decisions if the remote work trend continues. There might be less and less demand for traditional apartments and similar housing options. They will eventually have to invest a lot to adapt all the property in their area. But, there is another option. They can change the way they work by following these remote trends. And this is precisely what some of them are already doing.

With a full embrace of technology, most aspects of the real estate job can be done remotely:

  • There are already virtual tours instead of open houses.
  • Modern communication apps allow easy interviews with tenants.
  • All security checks are accomplished online.
  • Digital certificates enable dealing with all the documentation.
  • You can even schedule maintenance and renovation tasks with contractors over the internet.

And these are just some of the benefits the entire remote philosophy is bringing to the table.

Making a business agreement with another person online.

Brokers can manage all their business tasks online.

Real estate agencies can expand to more distant locations.

All the potential shifting happening in the housing market is fundamentally reshaping real estate. But not necessarily for worse. Fortunately, brokers will have the opportunity to benefit by expanding the business to more distant locations. With all the remote options we previously discussed, great possibilities are emerging. These newfound potentialities will make it viable to control and handle far markets. Basically, you won't have to focus on one area, you can expand to both suburbs and the more distant regions, and more far-away cities as well. With online payments being one of the primary ways of transferring money, it is only a matter of time when all the payment procedures will be completely automated.

Remote investments

This remote control and automation could lead to an increase in remote investment. Since real estate agencies will be expanding their influence to other areas, people will have an easier time investing in distant property. They will also help people manage their property online as well. With all the advancement in technology, and all the remote working trends going on, living near your investment will no longer be necessary. This principle pretty much already works fine in several other business areas.

Will the remote working trends and changes stay?

In all honesty, people are aware that investing in a constantly changing housing market can be tricky. Especially now when changes are still without firm foundations. Also, the percentage of remote workers themselves believe that these trends are only temporary. Many expect to be back in their offices once the crisis is over. On the other side, some claim that this was inevitable, a sort of long-expected business evolution. Also, some people just can't decide if they like offices or remote working more. And this can reflect on the housing markets in unpredictable ways.

But the key is to find a middle ground between all the sides. In general, some larger companies are already seriously considering solutions. Opening remote offices all around the globe could be the right move. It will allow companies to get cheaper offices and almost eliminate commuting for employees. Everyone could be working everywhere if the nature of the business allows.

A young man browsing the internet on his laptop in a café.

The old stereotype of a remote worker is far from the truth.

Today, we realize that a remote worker is not a typical stereotype packed into a young freelancer working from the internet café.  It's an average businessman earning his salary by dealing with all the business demands online. And those average businessmen have different concerns when it comes to their housing options. The impact of remote working on the housing market is significant and will probably have an even more considerable influence in the future. Maybe some of them will not permanently leave their offices for the sake of working from home. But, all signs are pointing at the fact that it's something inevitable we might expect in years to come.



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Is Building a New Home Better Than Buying an Existing One?

Finding a perfect home to settle in with your loved ones is a delicate process. You can't just go to a shop and buy it like newspapers. There is a plethora of things you have to consider. Before going into any other more in-depth discussions, there is one choice you have to make; whether to buy a home or build one from scratch. Let's find out together - is building a new home better than buying an existing one? Hopefully, we will help you make an informed decision!

Benefits of building a home

Let's start with the benefits of building a custom home. Not many people consider this as an option because it seems like a long and more expensive process. However, during these few months of fighting with COVID-19, many people have chosen to move to a more rural area. There is a certain amount of confidence in the home builder market as a result.

You get to pick the location you want

Finding the perfect location is always the biggest issue for anyone looking for a home. Often, houses in desirable locations are too expensive, or there are no properties for sale. Furthermore, it is a common situation that you find a good site, but there are no homes you like. Or, you find a perfect home, but the location is terrible.

If you choose to build a home, you can pick a location you want and build a house to your liking. This way you get to have the cake and eat it too!

Personalize every little detail

As mentioned, if you are building a home, you get to set your requirements. This is not something you can do when buying a home. If you opt for a purchase, you get a finalized product. Take it, or leave it. You can spend money to remodel it to meet your needs, but that will be too expensive. First, you buy a place, and then you spend the rest of your money to change it. Second, you won't be able to move in immediately. The remodeling process has to be over, and the house entirely cleaned. It can drag for a long time.

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When building a home, you can customize everything, from floor to walls, room layout, and much more.

It is true that build a home also takes time, but at least you know you are getting exactly what you want. And you can use the money you saved to relocate in an affordable way when everything is done.

Increased security

When you build a home, you can customize access to the property and every little detail of how the place will look like. This is the right time to think about security and build your home with that in mind. You can have higher windows, a secured balcony, and so many other variations that will make your home more secure, inside and out.

You are in charge of time management and financial limit

One thing that is common when buying a home is that you can haggle for a better price. Sometimes you get a better deal, sometimes not. When building a home, you can work with a licensed building company and know in advance how much everything will cost and when the construction will be over.

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Knowing the total cost and the construction duration will help you better manage your time and money

You have total control over the time and money spent.

A new home is a clean home

Old houses may have a lot of issues with electrical installations, asbestos, mold, or pests. Dealing with these issues will take time, and it will cost. Since it is your health and safety at stake, you will get a much better deal with a newly built home.

You know that all materials are new, and there are no issues with the structure due to how old the house is.

Are there any drawbacks to building a home?

The biggest issue with building a new home is the length of the process and the total cost. Purchasing a property, hiring licensed builders, and buying all the material adds up.

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All construction works can take a long time to complete. If you wish to build a customized home from scratch, you need to be patient.

However, you know that what you are getting is a quality home for your family. And, if you have a close connection with your chosen builders, they will give you valuable advice on how to save money when building a home.

What are the benefits of buying a home?

So, is building a new home better than buying an existing one? To truly find out, we have to look at both sides of the coin. When purchasing a home, you know you can expect:

  • to find a good deal if using a real estate expert
  • to get a finished product without too much hassle
  • move in shortly after the purchase is finalized
  • the overall timeframe of buying a home is shorter than building one
  • you can negotiate a lower price
  • the landscaping around the house is already formed

As mentioned above, some of the drawbacks include:

  • worn-out piping or electrical installations
  • old appliances
  • making compromises to fit the budget
  • there is a lot of competition, so sometimes it is harder to find what you want quickly and for the right price

Is building a new home better than buying an existing one?

If we consider everything in the article, the answer depends on deciding if you are willing to wait for the finalized product and invest a bit more money. Is building a new home better than buying an existing one? For some people, it is; for others, it is not. The answer is neither here nor there. But what is important is to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both. That is the only way to make a decision that will satisfy you the most. With that in mind, do extensive research and put your priorities on paper. Do this with all household members because you all need to participate in making this decision. Think smart, and good luck with finding your dream home!



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What to Do Before Taking the Real Estate Salesperson or Broker Exam

According to some recent statistics from REALTOR Magazine and the US Census Bureau data, “young Americans are rushing to become homeowners in the pandemic.” 

“Millennial” adults under 35 are still not in the majority of home owning Americans, but the rate rose to 40.2% last quarter, up from 37.5% a year earlier. As the demand for homes continues to rise, so too does the need for real estate brokers and salespeople!

If you’ve been dreaming of using your talents in the real estate industry, we can help you get there with our Real Estate Practice Exam! It covers everything you need to know in order to pass your state’s real estate broker or salesperson certification exam.

Real Estate Practice Exam Description

All 400 practice exam questions were written by industry experts who have previously worked on material for actual real estate exams across the country. While the questions are not the exact same as what you’ll find on a real exam, they were written to be as close as possible.

The practice exam is designed to work around your busy schedule, because it’s accessible 24/7 on any internet-connected device. And with the dynamic review feature, you can watch your practice scores improve in real time as you retake the exam as many times as you’d like. 

Click here to buy the practice exam, or choose your state above to see what other prelicense resources are available.



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COVD-19 FAQs For Colorado Real Estate Professionals

On October 6, Colorado Governor Jared Polis extended many previously issued executive orders related to COVID-19 safety. Since the Colorado Division of Real Estate “continues to receive complaints concerning real estate brokers not following state and county-issued guidance regarding COVID-19 restrictions when performing real estate activities,” we’ve decided to compile some resources for you so you can continue to work safely.

Here’s a list of safety resources that you can look at in their entirety when you have the time:

If you only have a few minutes, take a look at this shortened version of the official Colorado Real Estate Industry COVID-19 FAQ page. And remember, we offer online continuing education courses that can be completed anytime on any internet-enabled device! Click here to view our our Colorado state-approved course packages!

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Real Estate Services

Question: What does the Governor’s mask ordinance mean for my place of business?

Answer: As of July 16, 2020, Executive Order D 2020 038 mandates that every Coloradan older than 10 wear a mask or a face covering in all indoor public spaces, unless that individual has a medical condition where wearing a mask would put them at risk. It is important to note that wearing a mask properly means that it covers both your nose and mouth. Wearing a mask under your nose or chin is ineffective.

If a business or professional does not comply with the order, they are at risk of losing their license. Customers who do not comply with the order are violating a Colorado law and are subject to civil or criminal penalties.

Question: Are real estate open houses allowed?

Answer: Yes, real estate open houses are allowed under this amended June 30, 2020 Order, however, all open houses must strictly follow the Indoor Event requirements in Section I.H.4 of this Order. The Colorado Department of Health & Environment has listed on its website the Indoor Event requirements.

Question:  Who is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting occupied properties between showings?

Answer: Both Seller's Brokers and Buyer's Brokers are considered “Field Services” workers under the Public Health Order 20-28 and share responsibility to make sure cleaning and disinfection occur between showings. 

Seller's Brokers need to make arrangements with any occupants to clean and disinfect between showings. Likewise, Buyer's Brokers need to clean and disinfect behind their buyers while showing the property.

Question: Can a buyer require a seller to deep clean a property prior to closing?

Answer: Yes, so long as this is part of the terms of the contract between the buyer and seller.

Question: Who should be providing gloves and masks for showings?

Answer: Due to the shortage of personal protective equipment, it is recommended that brokers encourage buyers to bring their own masks and gloves. Both Buyer's Brokers and Seller's Brokers are encouraged to attempt to provide masks and gloves. However, if buyers show up to meet a Buyer's Broker without masks and gloves, the Buyer's Broker must either: 1) provide masks and gloves; 2) check to see if the Seller's Broker has provided masks and gloves; or 3) tell the buyers they will need to reschedule the showing until the buyers have masks and gloves.

Question: Should the Buyer’s Broker ask the buyer if they have symptoms or have come into contact with known positive cases of COVID-19?

Answer:  Best practice is for Buyer’s Brokers to ask buyers they are working with if they have symptoms or have come into contact with known positive cases of COVID-19.  If the answer is yes, at a minimum, the Buyer’s Broker should tell Seller’s Brokers prior to scheduling a showing.  The Seller may deny showings.

Question: Is it ok to have more than one potential buyer in the property at a time for a showing?

Answer: No. In order to prevent unnecessary contact, showings must be limited to only one buyer group (meaning a group of individuals from a currently shared household) at a time.

Question: Is there a limit to the number of buyers I can show the property to if they have all been quarantined together?

Answer: Under Public Health Order 20-28, gatherings are limited to 10 or less people.  However, we STRONGLY encourage Buyer's Brokers to limit the number of buyers they show the property to prior to executing a contract to only those buyers that will be signing a contract.

Additionally, sellers may impose other restrictions such as requiring buyers to be pre-qualified, limiting the number of buyers in the property or prohibiting showings until a contract is executed by both buyer and seller.

Question: Does the occupant need to leave the property for showings?

Answer: No. Occupants are permitted to remain in the property during all showings. However, occupants should wear masks and gloves and maintain six feet of distance from everyone while other people are in the property.

Question: Should Seller's Brokers get waivers of liability from potential buyers before allowing the potential buyer to enter the property for a showing?

Answer: Brokers that have waivers of liability drafted by a Colorado licensed attorney are permitted to use them. Seller’s Brokers should consult with their Colorado licensed attorney regarding the risks or enforceability of such waivers. Additionally, Buyer's Brokers must advise all buyers to have such waivers reviewed by legal counsel before allowing buyers to sign such waivers. 

Question: Does a buyer have to see the property before they can make an offer?

Answer: No. All buyers, especially Vulnerable Individuals, should be encouraged to do as much research finding a property as they can virtually. This might include getting a contract signed by both buyer and seller prior to the buyer ever seeing the property. In these cases, the buyer may want to consider adding a contingency to the contract that the contract is contingent upon the buyer viewing and approving the property after the contract is signed.

Question:  Does the seller have to allow showings?

Answer: No. Seller's Brokers should explain to all sellers, especially Vulnerable Individuals, their options for selling their property without allowing or minimizing showings. This might include asking for pre-qualifications of buyers before allowing them to see the property or requiring buyers to make an acceptable offer that is signed by the seller before allowing anyone into the property.

Question: Can a buyer still sign a contract or deliver earnest money in person?

Answer: While clients can still sign contracts or deliver earnest money in person, brokerage firms are required to take measures to reduce or negate the need for paper and attempt to provide contactless payment options.

Question: Can a Broker still attend listing appointments in person?

Anwer: Yes. However, Brokers are required to wear a mask and gloves. Public Health Order 20-28 limits gatherings to 10 people or less. We strongly encourage Brokers to perform as many of their job duties remotely or virtually as possible.



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Michigan Real Estate Continuing Education Course Preview

Michigan Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, your legal updates continuing education deadline is October 31st!

With our on-demand video courses, we make it easy to complete your CE around your busy schedule. Here’s a preview from one of the Michigan Law Updates courses that’s available in our 6-credit hour course package! 

2020 Michigan Legal Update II Course Preview

Course Description: This course addresses the most recent regulatory rules and regulations that pertain to the real estate industry in Michigan. It provides an understanding and working knowledge of a license holder’s responsibilities and obligations related to rule changes, requirements, duties, violations and agency. This course sets out specific requirements and best practices.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand changes to Michigan laws and rules, including the legalization of recreational marijuana
  • Gain an understanding of noteworthy case law as it relates to real estate


The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy announced a new Minor Project category that will make it easier for lakeshore property owners to get a permit for the temporary use of sandbags as immediate stabilization measures to protect homes and other critical infrastructure.

The Minor Project category will provide for faster permit processing for homeowners and a reduced permit fee of $100. Under the new category, a public notice will not be necessary for stabilization projects meeting review requirements.

EGLE emphasizes that sandbags are not a permanent solution to erosion problems and the bags eventually must be removed. Property owners should work with a contractor to design a more permanent solution, such as boulders, riprap, or even moving homes and other infrastructure farther inland.

Property owners who seek to take measures to protect their property from record high water levels still need to file a permit application through EGLE’s MiWaters portal. EGLE is expediting permits where there is a risk to structures, human health, and safety. In many cases, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also needs to review the permit application, which is filed jointly through Mi Waters.

Since Oct. 1, EGLE has issued more than 100 shoreline protection permits across the state. Of these, 60 percent were issued within three days of receiving a completed application. Between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, EGLE issued 730 permits for Great Lakes projects, some of which were non-emergencies. Fifty percent of the 730 permits were issued within 30 days of receiving an application and 21 percent were issued within 10 days.

In October of 2019 EGLE announced it would expedite permit applications to protect homes or structures that are in danger due to record high water levels. Permits can be approved within days of a completed application being filed, when under normal circumstances the process takes 60-90 days. The shoreline permitting process ensures a balance between protecting property and freshwater dunes and shorelines.



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Leveraging Major Appliances to Attract More Buyers

This year we’ve seen shortages on everything from toilet paper to sourdough starter. But while many of those early-pandemic items are now easier to find, there’s another selection of items that is still struggling to meet demand: major household appliances.

The National Association of Realtors and NPR recently reported that dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers, and other household appliances are still struggling to stay in-stock across the nation. During the first half of 2020, manufacturers shipped fewer (a 7% dip) major appliances to retailers and builders compared to 2019, according to data from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. And unfortunately for homeowners, NPR reported that experts are “warning of backlogs on some appliance brands and models through the end of the year and potentially into 2021.”

"I have never experienced a year where there were shortages like we've seen this year," said Sandy Tau, the owner of AHC Appliances on Long Island, who's been in the business for some 25 years. "We have freezers that are on backorder since the end of March that have still not come in."

As demand continues to outpace the supply for these necessary household items, this may be a good opportunity to take advantage of your listings with new (or newer) appliances included. Simply giving more attention to your homes with the new stainless steel kitchen appliances or the modern washer and dryer can help create that bidding war the owners (and you) are hoping for.

With home sales still on the rise, will appliances be something you mention more often to potential buyers? Let us know on social media!



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