PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Are you buying or selling a home? COVID-19 concerns are impacting the real estate business, according to an expert.

“There are still sales,” according to Arizona Realtor Association President Mary Roberts. ”People will always need to find people always needing to sell. They could get job transfers, getting into a new school year. It’s always going to be buyers and sellers having to do.”

As cases continue to rise, Roberts said she is advising real estate agents to ask clients questions they don’t typically ask.

“If they’ve been sick or anybody in their immediate family has been sick,” she said. "Ask them if they traveled either on a cruise or to a foreign country. I think that’s very important. We shouldn’t be just expected to go meet somebody at a house and be maybe exposed to it.”

Despite the health concerns, Roberts said certain clients may still choose to go to showing or hold open houses.

“I have my personal opinion; I would not do them,” she said. “But they should ask their broker and see what their broker suggests. I think it’s a big liability at this time.”

Aside from social distancing, and handwashing, she offered tips to those who show their home. “They should turn on all of the lights, open all the doors, everything so that if somebody comes in, we can ask them not to touch anything.”

Russ Lyon Southeby’s International Realty has used more social media to showcase homes on the market. Roberts said we may start to see more virtual home tours, which give prospective buyers a 360-degree view of properties online.

She said it’s good for the time being, but doesn’t replace getting a feel for the neighborhood. ”I think people will really want to get a feeling so that when they walk in the house, they feel themselves as having lived there and working there.”

For the time being, Roberts said she is balancing health concerns and career.

“I make sure I wipe things down; I wear gloves when I do showings and, of course, the 6-foot limit being next to the clients. Another practice a lot of realtors will take their clients in the car, and at this time, I personally will just have them follow me.”


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