A Message to Our Clients in Uncertain Times

Updated March 22, 2020

To Our Valued Clients,

As we settle into the next phase of this odyssey, we want to provide some perspectives and assurances as proven advisors in the face of uncertainty. Our highest priority right now is the health and safety of our brokers, employees, and clients. As your trusted advisors for more than 50 years, we share our thoughts on two important questions:

How will this affect our markets?
What is our message to sellers and buyers?

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How will this affect our markets?

As we see another Wall Street selloff, supply chain disruptions, and global business closures, layoffs, and cutbacks, we are left wondering what the long-term market effects will be from this unprecedented global pandemic. In our real estate markets, we expect differing dynamics to emerge:

  1. We are already seeing atypical off-season interest in our second-home markets across Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Adirondacks.
  2. In our primary home markets, there remains a fundamental shortage of housing in Greater Boston. With interest rates at historic lows, we anticipate the spring market to be a summer market with pent-up buyer interest chasing limited supply.
  3. Within our timberland business, we are experiencing increased interest in our timberland investments as an alternative hedge against market volatility. Our timberland management operations are relatively uninterrupted. The rural nature of timber communities, coupled with the consistent demand for pulp, paper, and packaging have allowed us to operate at normal capacity.

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What is our message to sellers and buyers?

The first thing they should know is that we remain at the ready to assist in any way we can, as informed by the latest health and safety information. We are here to listen, counsel, and support our sellers and buyers towards the right decisions for them. We will only show a property if our seller agrees that it is in their best interest to do so and only under the following protocols.

For Sellers: We are employing best practices when conducting client meetings or property showings to help prevent the transmission of the virus. Some of the steps we are taking:

  1. We are not conducting open houses at our listings until further notice.
  2. We are conducting client meetings remotely through a variety of virtual communication tools.
  3. If we show a house, it is only with the seller’s authorization and the showing is conducted under strict safety practices to avoid any chance of spreading the virus.

We can offer to produce a Matterport 3D tour of your home (assuming the availability of the service) and use that for potential buyers as a first showing. We can do exterior-only showings. We can provide Facetime or WhatsApp showings in real-time.

We’re advising sellers that delays in financing, due diligence, and closings should be expected through May. Any offers received in the interim should be carefully considered with respect to the proposed performance timing under the current circumstances.

For Buyers: With low market inventory, and low-interest rates, we expect buyers may want to see every home that is of interest to them. Our goal is to meet the needs of buyers in ways that protect buyers, sellers, and agents from the virus. At the seller’s direction, we can conduct in-person showings under strict health and safety practices. We can show properties virtually using technologies like Facetime, WhatsApp, or Matterport 3D (if available). Digital signatures allow for document execution without in-person visits. We’re advising buyers that delays in financing, due diligence, and closings should be factored into any offers.

For Our Agents & Employees:   If one of our agents is sick or is in a high-risk group, we have a team standing by to help. We will find another agent who can pick up the showing and handle it professionally. As a non-designated agency, LandVest is built to provide this seamless back-up support since all our agents work for each of our sellers.

Donations: If you are looking to give back in this time of need for many people out of work and out of school, you can go to feedingamerica.org to donate to a food bank in your area.

Thank you and stay safe.

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