In a perspective piece for The Washington Post, Ilyce Glick, CEO of Best Money Moves, and Samuel J. Tampkin, a Chicago-based real estate attorney, provide a look at how the COVID-19 outbreak has created a “new normal” in the real estate market.

As of this writing, buyers are still buying homes and sellers are still selling. Sam has received several contracts in a few days, although his office phone isn't ringing as much as normal. Ilyce has been talking to would-be sellers and buyers (and getting plenty of email) suggesting that people want to buy or sell, but they're nervous. So are brokers, title companies and everyone else involved in real estate transactions…

…How much will the market slow? The National Association of Realtors estimated a 10 percent reduction in sales for 2020. We think the true number could be a lot higher, depending on how fast unemployment skyrockets and how quickly people find new jobs (if indeed they do).

We also see technology taking an even bigger role. We expect that electronic signing of documents will become more widespread. Paper copies may become a thing of the past, as copies of loan documents are now legally required to be sent to the buyer by electronic means in advance of the closing. We expect more closings will be done remotely, especially where documents are signed in advance, electronically in some cases.

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