To our valued clients,
We first want to acknowledge the hardships all of you are facing due to the threat of the COVID-19 virus and the recent “Shelter in Place” orders by all nine Bay Area County Health Departments. (San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Alameda, & Contra Costa) These are difficult times for all of us and our loved ones and we know there is a lot of worry in each of our households. We also want to acknowledge the hardship and worries for our active clients, particularly our current sellers who are wondering what actions they should take and what the current conditions could mean for selling their home in the future.
To begin, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty has taken serious action in restructuring our business practices in the hopes of minimizing the risks posed to our agents, staff and clientele. Prior to the Shelter in Place directives, we closed offices and moved most of our staff to a “work-from-home” status. We worked with our banks and service professionals to ensure the financial operation of our business remains effective.
The Shelter in Place directives have forced us to continue our restructuring. Under the directive, and according to the California Association of Realtors, real estate sales are not an “Essential Business” as defined in the different county health orders. We are actively pursuing clarification of or a possible amendment to that status, but for the time being we have to advise our real estate agents that they should not participate in any in-person sales activity. This includes personal meetings with clients, broker tours, open houses and any in-person showings. Less clear is our ability to prep homes for sales as construction crews and pest control firms are included in “Essential Business” definitions in various ways throughout the different counties.
For the time being we are suggesting a cessation of any business activity that causes our agents to leave their homes. We will be reviewing this position daily, as things continue to change. We know there are some agents from other real estate brokerages who are still conducting in-person business. We cannot control that activity, we can only make our own decision as to what our duty to the community is under these emergency orders.
We can also tell you this pause in business is being imposed by other companies as well. While banks, title companies and county recorders (as Essential Businesses) are still open for business, we see many stagers, home inspectors and even appraisal companies opting to obey the Shelter in Place order. The fact is, there is no “business as usual” even if we wish there to be.
While things evolve, we are taking steps to be back in business on April 8, or the minute the Shelter in Place is released or amended. We expect certain restrictions, such as distancing rules, crowd limits and hygiene mandates to be in place when Sheltering in Place is lifted. We will be fully prepared at that time, so your house will be among the first to be available to be seen in person.
Our agents, managers and staff are all available today by video or phone to conduct business. We want to assure you that the active marketing of your home will continue. During this time when most buyers will be at home and online, we will remain focused on what we do best—marketing our properties, locally and globally.
Our highly technological marketing platforms include the world’s most visited real estate brokerage website SIR.com, an Apple TV app, robust social media marketing, 4K videos, 3D video tours, and a multi-tiered cascading online property syndication platform. This unparalleled marketing approach makes it possible for anyone here in the SF Bay Area—and around the world—to view our listings from the comfort of their home.
We will continue to take offers through email, subject to in-person review and inspections at a later date. We have successfully executed contracts in the last few days. An active market does exist and we will continue to work to sell your home under the current restrictions.
We know you join us in our efforts to contain the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. We take seriously our obligation to be part of the effort to “flatten the curve” and protect our agents, clients, vendors, families and friends. We are all in this together and we thank you for your patience. Your agent will be in regular communication with you regarding new developments and strategies for the sale of your home.
In good health,
President and Chief Executive Officer
Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty
Links to local Health Departments are contained on our website as the directives may change. Click Here to Visit our Emergency Resource Center