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Real estate agents are adjusting to the 'new normal' amid the coronavirus outbreak in Maine

Virtual tours and phone calls are becoming the new way agents connect with clients. But as the coronavirus spreads the future of the market is unclear.

BANGOR, Maine — The coronavirus is impacting Maine's businesses in an unprecedented way. Real estate agents have been forced to adjust to this new normal.

Many realtors have transitioned to virtual tours of homes and using video calling apps like Zoom to speak with clients.

Scott Bonney works for Keller Williams Realty. He said this is an unprecedented time for his position,

“We’re having to do things we’ve never done before, having to adopt new techniques that we’ve never used before," Bonney said.

Homes are still being bought and sold but with new conditions being added into contracts. Frank Hennings is a Sales Associate with Coldwell Banker and works in Portland.

Credit: NCM

"The clauses include extensions for time frames primarily. Where going into this contact all parties are aware that there might be things out of control for each party," Hennings said.

These unprecedented times are impacting commercial real estate as well as individuals buying or selling homes.

“The value of a lot of commercial properties comes in the form of the rent they bring in not just the property or the building itself," Sarah Schindler, an Associate Dean at the University of Maine School of Law, said.

"So, to that extent, a lot of businesses are shut down right now and aren’t able to pay that rent.” 

The shut down of our normal routine hasn't affected the real estate market just yet. But if you're planning to buy or sell, now may not be the best time.

Credit: NCM

“We just don’t know what’s going to happen so at the extent that people can wait that’s probably a good idea," Schindler added.

Bonney added that the interest rate for homes is still low and for at least the near future, the power is with the buyer.

“Every time the interest rate goes up one percentage point it lessens the buying power by up to 10 percent," he said.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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