Are REALTORS(TM) Helping to Spread COVID? (aka, another reason we do not belong to this organization)

At the beginning of March, we all know that the world sort of got shut down. At that time, I figured that the economy would take a dive and that no one would be buying real estate. Alas, the fact that qualified people were then cooped up in their 1-bedroom apartments with the walls moving in on them. The cries of, “we got to get out of her” began.

So, on to Redfin and Zillow to check listings and to someone’s site like to get preapproved. Then, I started getting calls that people wanted to see home. OK, now how are we going to get around the virus stuff.

Or not. The majority of real estate agents, be they brokers or salespeople, belong to a trade organization called the National Association of Realtors aka NAR. NAR has an exclusive agreement with a lockbox called Supra. The only way to open the box is to have a licensed agent or in some state, a member of the NAR open it to access the keys for the property. Therefore, an extra person has to go therefore increasing the possible spread of the virus.

The agents do make you sign a form that one lawyer told me was “toilet paper.” It warns about the virus and what you should and should not do and don’t sure the agent or the owner if you get it and we will sue you if you give it. How this is proven is impossible.

And they are crazy about the form and the number of people and directions for the proper foot and hand-wear. Sometimes, an agent shows up to verify but usually not. I have seen 10 people come out of a listing. It’s insanity.

But, there is a solution. First, stop using these discriminatory lockboxes. There are other boxes that are very secure and do not require a license to open. Codebox comes to mind. This is our preferred method.

I trust preapproved or cash buyers more than I trust real estate agents. If you are buying a $1,000,000 house in the Bay Area, I think you know what a kitchen is. You do not need an agent. If you really want them there, then do Facetime or another video method while you are going through the house.

So, what do you say NAR? How about a temporary ban until this is all over. Stop helping to spread the virus.

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