Benchmark in the Media: Coronavirus Plunges Maine’s Housing Market into Uncertainty, Portland Press Herald

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Thanks to our friends at the Portland Press Herald for sharing our perspective and what we're doing to continue to serve our clients during these challenging times. See a exerpt below and read the full article on thier website. 

Taken from original article by The Portland Press Herald

Tom Landry is standing in front of a brick building at 316 Congress St. in Portland. He’s wearing a high-filtration respirator and saying what has become an understatement for many business owners today.

“This is clearly unprecedented,” he says. “But we’re still trying to do the best we can for our clients.”

Landry is the owner of Benchmark Real Estate in Portland. He has canceled all open houses, in a month when his firm normally conducts dozens. So now he’s hosting a Facebook Live virtual property tour of the seven-unit building, recently listed for $1.2 million. The property is valued at $1.7 million, he says, but $1.2 million is a “realistic” price in today’s market.

Inside, wearing his mask and gloves, Landry shows off one of the apartments. After the walk-through, he’ll sanitize all the surfaces he touched, he says.

This is how some Maine Realtors are coping, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Getting an accurate statewide read on the impact of coronavirus on home sales activity is impossible at the moment, because events are changing daily, and most of the available market data relates to activity that occurred before the outbreak. The process of selling a home takes weeks or months.

Still, southern Maine real estate professionals say virus fears and social distancing restrictions already are having an obvious chilling effect on the housing market.

Their profession became even more challenged on Tuesday, when Gov. Janet Mills ordered the shutdown of nonessential public-facing businesses, and Portland, Bangor and Brunswick enacted emergency stay-at-home orders.