At Home in Berks Fall 2020 - 15

Safety in Home Sales
and Settlements

By Deb Konowal, Stewart Abstract of Berks County, Inc.
To say that "2020" has been a challenge is putting
it mildly! On Friday, March 20, Governor Wolf put
restrictions on "non-essential businesses" due to the
pandemic. After determining that we were an "essential
business," we took steps to conduct our once typical
face-to-face closings in a manner that would keep our
customers and staff safe. On Friday, March 27, 2020
the Governor issued a "Stay-at-Home" order for all
non-essential workers of Pennsylvania and at this point,
Realtors and Home Builders were classified as nonessential and therefore their business literally came to a
standstill with the exception of transactions already in
the pipeline with banks/mortgage lenders who were also
considered "essential."
For the remaining month of March, and all of April
and May we held closings via our Settlement Officers
delivering loan papers and title documents to customers'
vehicles, donning masks and gloves. During the month
of May, the Governor allowed Builders and Realtors to
go back to work with restrictions in place (many thanks
to RBAR, HBA, and local politicians) during the yellow
phase of the Stay-at-Home order.
considering that renovation, at least call a contractor now
and have a conversation about your project and what is
the safest way for you to proceed to get on the schedule.
You may not want contractors in your home right now
but if you do not get on the schedule your project may
have to wait until late next year or longer depending on
the contractor. To get a price and get on the schedule
you would only need to have one contractor enter your
home to take measurements and everything else could
be discussed over the phone or virtually to minimize the
personal contact. Once you are ready to sign the contract
ask the contractor if you can do it digitally or through
email; most will be accommodating.
Do not hesitate to plan your renovation project,
just work with the contractor and see how the
contractor can accommodate your concerns with
safety and the wellbeing of the individuals in the
home. Communication is the key so that each person
knows how the project is being handled and how best
to avoid personal contact during the renovation. If
the contractor is not willing to work with you on this
matter, then call another contractor as they should all be
willing to accommodate the homeowner and make the
surroundings safe for both you and their employees.

In June after moving to the "green phase," our company
purchased canopies and folding tables and chairs that
we set up outside which worked out very well for our
customers and for us. During bad weather days, we
set up 2-3 tables inside the lobby area to accommodate
customers, or, if our customers preferred, they could still
sign documents inside their vehicles. Our goal was to
continue to provide our services to our customers in a
safe and efficient manner.
Keep in mind this pandemic happened during the
spring market which is the busiest time of year for
Realtors, Builders, Lenders, Home Insurance Agents and
Title Companies alike; this could have been devastating
for the real estate market as a whole. However, we were
and still are experiencing historically low interest rates,
so, lenders have been inundated during this entire time
with applications to refinance homes. After the reopening in May, the real estate market accelerated like we
have not seen in many years.
The real estate industry has endured and 2020 may turn
out to be our best year ever!

Fall 2020 AT HOME IN BERKs

15



At Home in Berks Fall 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of At Home in Berks Fall 2020

At Home in Berks Fall 2020 - 1
At Home in Berks Fall 2020 - 2
At Home in Berks Fall 2020 - 3
At Home in Berks Fall 2020 - 4
At Home in Berks Fall 2020 - 5
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksFall2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksApril2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeinBerksFall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeinBerksSummer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksWinter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeinBerksWinter2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksSpring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksFebruary2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksDecember18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksOctober2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksAugust2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksJune2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksJune18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksApril2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksFebruary2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksDecember17
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksOctober2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksAugust
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerks_June2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/athomeinberks/AtHomeInBerksApril
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