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Is the Real Estate Industry an essential service?

Thursday, March 26, 2020   /   by Robert Ortega

Is the Real Estate Industry an essential service?

Is the Real Estate Industry an essential service

During this time of masse social isolation in order to combat the global health crisis, the real estate industry is divided wether or not that real estate is considered essential. Here’s the argument.

The National Association of Realtors ® (NAR), the California Association of Realtors ® (CAR) along with other real estate brokerages across our great land believes that the adherent danger of severe illness may be too risky for agents and their clients. The daily interactions of a single real estate agent may place potential buyers and sellers at risk, they argue. 

Some beg to differ.

The industry is torn if real estate sales is considered an essential service or not. “We are NOT essential,” wrote Dawn Olson, a real estate agent in Bourbonnais, Illinois. “Selling is essential to U.S. and our finances. Select sellers and buyers NEED to buy or sell more than others, but at what risk? Putting OUR needs above public safety will backfire later, if we put MONEY over SAFETY. The public is keeping tabs on who is doing what.”

According to The National Law Review, it’s up to the country, state or region that decides the definition of an essential service. The U.S. considers energy (gas, electric and oil), transportation (water, rail, air and road), drinking water, digital infrastructure, banking, financial and healthcare (hospitals and clinics) some major essential services. 

“Perhaps a better question would be, ‘Is real estate more essential than stopping this pandemic and the lives of your loved ones?” Dale Chumbley, Realtor mentioned to a real estate publication recently. 

The other side of the argument is just as passionate. What happens if you were in a mid-sale or were in the process of listing or buying a home? What if you needed to move and move quickly? How about corporate transfers or if a military family is ready to find a home to quarantine? Should they stay stuck in limbo, can they move? 

People need homes and shelters in addition to food and water. If there’s a willing buyer and a willing home seller, some say it’s hard to say no. People need a place to call home.

Every circumstance and situation differ dramatically. Technology with video meetings, downloadable content, accessible information and virtual tours definitely help bridge the gap. If you must buy or sell your home, wether it be for financial obligations or personal ones, would require some serious thought. If you decided to go forward, this would need strategic planning with attention to detail weighing out the risk. 

In some area’s this past week sales were higher than the previous two. Which I find odd considering the recent news and updates. Under special circumstances selling or buying a home now just might work.

If you have any questions or concerns send me a note. I’m here to help.



Robert Ortega, Realtor®
Certified Probate Expert - Real Estate Sales - Residential | Luxury | Property Management
Robert Ortega
26650 The Old Road
Valencia, CA 91381
DRE# 01167918
11812 San Vicente Boulevard
Brentwood, CA, 90049

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