Market Trends

Is Omicron Impacting Real Estate Business in Hawaii?

Are you in the throes of a real estate transaction? Are you wondering if the recent uptick in case counts in Hawaii is impacting real estate? Do you wonder if real estate processes are changing due to Omicron?

In  my experience, the answer is a resounding, “yes.” Let me share two very recent experiences with you.

Case Study #1

Our buyer clients are ready to close. After a year-long search, they have finally succeeded in securing a home. They are happily in escrow and excited to close the transaction and move into their new home. Inspections have been performed and approved. Loan approval has been obtained. They are more than ready. In fact, they are biting at the bit. But, there is a problem. You guessed it…..Omicron! Just days before closing, the Sellers and their agent contracted COVID. So, what does this mean? It means that the Sellers cannot sign closing docs. At least not until they are out of isolation and no longer test positive. Understandably, no one is willing to risk infection, so even a mobile notary is out of the question. So, we wait — wait until everyone is healthy and able to perform.

Case Study #2

Our buyers are in escrow. The home inspection has been scheduled, which usually includes the buyers being present to go over the results. But, you guessed it — Omicron! The buyers have come into contact with people who tested positive for the virus. They aren’t sick, nor have they tested positive, but out of an abundance of caution, they are not comfortable attending the home inspection. Totally understandable and very much appreciated. So, what is the answer? The inspection will go forward and the inspector will provide videos, a report, and a time to go over everything with the buyers either via phone, face time, or zoom. It may not be ideal, but it is workable. Very workable.

These are just two recent examples, but I think the answer to the question, “Is Omicron impacting business?” is a definite yes. The good news is that we are all more equipped to handle disruptions. If we’ve learned anything over the last couple of years, it’s to be flexible, creative, and adaptable. Buyers and Sellers understand the times and real estate professionals do, too. We continue to work together to make things happen, even when it means masking up, working remotely, attending professional home inspections via Zoom, or utilizing mobile notaries. And, even when it means waiting because someone is sick and indisposed.

We’ve certainly learned a lot through the pandemic and we will continue to learn. We’ve learned new ways to practice real estate and we’ve implemented new safety procedures and protocols. Above all else, we’ve learned a little more patience and a lot more understanding. Omicron may be causing yet another disruption, but we will rise to the occasion and be better for it. Just ask my clients who are more concerned about the health and safety of others than their own real estate goals. Now, that is something we can all be proud of and something we can all put into practice. Yes, Omicron is impacting business, but just maybe, the impact will be felt in positive ways — ways that make us all a little kinder, more understanding, and a lot more patient and flexible.

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