Well it sure has been a roller coaster ride since March 2020. The news that the governor was shutting down businesses, including realtors, was really scary. I was prepared for a slow spring because it's a presidential election year, when real estate and other businesses see the same trend: after a pre-election slump, we go back to normal business levels. It really doesn't matter the outcome of the election, just that it’s over and the feeling of uncertainty fades and brings back the confidence of buyers. So fast forward into week three of the COVID-19 pandemic, people from New York City have decided it’s time to leave that confining place and find fresh air and space. Realtors are allowed to work from home and perform many of the duties virtually. The phone starts ringing… and ringing and ringing, one call after another from buyers who are looking for a country home — as long as it offers high speed internet and can they work from home. Our inventory was low and had been for some time. This put more pressure on the market, and my available listings file got smaller and smaller. Then came bidding wars, houses listed for one day on the market, cash offers beating out mortgage contingencies, people sending letters to sellers telling them why they want to buy their house. The list goes on and on. The one common thing that most everyone is asking for is privacy and several acres of land. The village listings haven't been impacted as much because that isn't what the buyer is looking for. I have had many sleepless nights, lying in bed, thinking, did I get back to everyone I was supposed to today? Maybe I skipped an email, need to go back and check in the a.m., voicemail is full, over 300 emails to read... it’s like the movie Groundhog Day, another night tossing and turning, wondering the same thing, just new sets of people from the day before. I found myself staying up till close to midnight to get a new listing entered so in the morning I would be able to field the calls from buyers and other agents that wanted to be the first to see the new listing. As a director of the Hudson Valley Catskill Region MLS, we had numerous Zoom meetings with our legal counsel, updating us on the rules that govern how we do business. New forms that are required to be signed, not being able to show homes in person… virtual became the new norm. Then there were more new forms, and a phase change that allowed showings with many restrictions, while trying to protect our own health, as well as the sellers and buyers. Knowing that most all buyers were coming from the HOT SPOT areas of NYC, gloves, masks, sanitizer and not meeting people in the office first became the new procedure. Doing business in a less safe, but more personal manner is always a concern. I can't remember a time when I would ever meet someone wearing a mask, and just be okay with it. For people who have wanted to sell but waited until there was an improvement in price in the local market, now is the time. If priced right, and your property meets the wants of the buyers, it may see a day or two on the market, multiple showings, multiple offers, and calls for the highest and best offer, leaving realtors like myself working more hours with no sign of a vacation this summer. Statistics show we have exceeded the market in sales that took place post 9/11. Inventory was much better back then too. If we had the same amount of inventory today, I'm sure the sales would well surpass those numbers. Be safe everyone! Please call me at 845-901-4553 if you are interested in listing your home, or are ready to buy. I love what I do! Gail M. Vesely is New York State Licensed Real Estate Broker and owner of Lucille Hand Real Estate, located on Main Street in Ellenville. She has a Certified Negotiation Expert designation, is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Ulster County Multiple Listing Service, Chairperson for the MLS Wawarsing Caravan, serves on the MLS Grievance committee and past Board of Directors member on the Ellenville/Wawarsing Chamber of Commerce. Gail has been recognized for her Sales achievements for the past 6 years from the Ulster County Board of Realtors.