Living these last few months in the Twilight Zone of COVID-19 has been a real adventure, a surreal experience that most of us would have imagined seeing only in a weird sci-fi movie featuring people that traveled through outer space seeking new worlds.
I talk about the different things we all have to deal with now on a daily basis; just going shopping means waiting on line, six feet apart from the next patron, your temperature taken before entering the store, donning the mandatory masks and optional gloves, and searching for the Purell dispenser constantly!
Who would have ever imagined our kids “going to school” every day on Zoom? They now have the best excuses for truancy: “I lost my internet connection and could not get back online!” or, “My computer crashed and I needed to wait for a computer tech to fix it …”
Then there’s the quarantining in the house and going out for daily walks just to see what the rest of the world looks like outside the house or to get away from the TV postings of COVID guidelines, charts of sick or dying, and whatever else can instill fear and dread in everyone watching.
If you went back in time even just a year ago and started telling the stories of what has been happening here the last few months, people would have called the loony bin to come and lock you up — and throw the key away. They all would have thought you lost your mind and went completely bonkers!
So now that we are all living in this insanity, let’s talk about real estate and how real-estate practices have joined the realm of this upside-down world we now reside in.
Are closings taking place? Oh, yeah, they are taking place, but not the way we are used to having them. (I now use the terms “before COVID” and “after COVID.”)
Before COVID, we would go to a closing, anticipating around two hours for everything to get done (1½ hours if you had a really good closer; three hours or more if they used a relative who never did a closing before but wanted to do them a favor, or if it was a commercial deal).
Papers would go back and forth. If it was a nice commercial closing, there would even be a buffet table of sumptuous food so the parties could take a break and have a bite to eat or a drink in between signing.
Now, after COVID, some closings are done in advance by overnight mail. Others take place in parking lots with all the different parties sitting in their own cars, and one brave soul in a mask (or someone who already had COVID) going from car to car with the various paperwork needed to be signed or notarized.
It just goes to show (as Gilda Radner would say years ago) that even the complete chaos that this crazy disease has caused does not stop buyers who want to get into new houses or sellers from selling their houses and moving on.
I am not in favor of closing in parking lots, though, and I wait to go back to some kind of normal and civilized form of closings. Hopefully next month?
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com.