The Impact of COVID-19 on Local Real Estate Practices


Yesterday, Gov. Tony Evers issued an emergency order called “Safer at Home” in which Wisconsinites are instructed to remain at home with the intention to stop the spread of coronavirus, aka COVID-19, from 8:00 am Wednesday, March 25th until 8:00 am Friday, April 24th.

follow this link to read the full order by the Wisconsin Governor: Order #12: Safer At Home

Local businesses are to remain closed for the next 30 days, unless they’re considered an “essential service.” Thankfully real estate was declared essential, as were many businesses that support and serve our industry. However, the way we practice and participate in real estate transactions has transformed.

follow this link to see a full list of essential businesses here’s the full list of business allow to continue operations, although most with new restrictions, read the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation © 2020 article here

REALTORS® and their clients may still conduct the activities necessary to buy and sell real estate in Wisconsin during the time period covered by the order as long as they comply with the social distancing and other requirements in the order.

Michael Theo President & CEO of Wisconsin REALTORS® Association

Conversely, while I and my fellow realtors are allowed to work, we are NOT required to. This is a HIGHLY contagious, and sometimes deadly, virus. We must continue to work remotely (while accessible, if necessary, we cannot work out of our office), maintain social distancing from others (6+ feet), wear PPE when going to public places, wash your hands/use hand sanitizer.

Restrictions, Options & Opportunities for

Sellers and Buyers


Real estate agents are being told by all sources (“Safer at home,” the WRA, NAR, and brokerages) to do work from home (instead of office). There are no more open houses, but virtual showings/tours are highly encouraged. When we go do out, we’re still supposed to follow ‘social distancing,’ and CDC prevention guidelines.

Be aware: some sellers are being forced to self-quarantine: you must protect yourself as well. This virus can live on surfaces, and they may not know whether or not their COVID-19 positive.


If you have a pre-approval from a lender, and have a secure job (not at risk for losing your job), continue to look online. Any new listings are likely serious sellers, whether trying to cut losses in the stock market by selling second homes, or moving). Write contracts with deadlines pushed further out. VA and even some FHA buyers (with jobs in “essential businesses”) are very secure in that they are government vs. mortgage broker backed.

Please note: President Trump did not cut mortgage interest rates to 0%, but rather treasure rates.


You can require virtual tours only. Of course, you could also pull the property off of market until the pandemic ends. We’ve been told to do virtual open houses, and to not open the open house to the public.

Please note: if you do not want to sell your home, you could look into refinancing your home loan given the recent cut in interest rates (not mortgage rates). ** I have heard from a couple folks that it took longer than normal to hear back from their lender, the refinancing process may take some time. If you decide to refinance, lock in your rate.

Under Contract

If you’re currently under contract, expect delays from loan processors, home inspectors, loan appraisers, and even the title company (due to register of deeds closing). Lenders are still up and running, just working from home, writing pre-approvals using today’s interest rate (I’d give you that % but I am not a lender – regulation Z), however, market instability causes mortgage rates to constantly change, plus they’re overwhelmed with the sheer volume of people re-financing their existing home.

Wishing you and yours a safe and healthy weekend. Have a great Weekend in Wisco! ❤ , Annie Z.

PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982

During this time of pandemic panic, it is crucial to stay properly informed. THE source of accurate information, prevention and treatment of the corona virus can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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Maintain the Canopy | Live in Community

As the photos on my social feeds will show, I adore trees.

From the pink buds of Cherry Blossom Season to the fire-y leaves of an Autumn red maple, trees exhibit life in a miraculously beautiful way. I recently saw a TED talk about trees, from which I grew gratitude. I was even able to draw similarities between the canopy-sustaining actions of a forest to the community/culture structure of my company, Keefe Real Estate (who’s logo also happens to be a tree).

Beneath the tree tops and down the trunks, at the bottom of the trees lies the forest floor. Roots, soil, fungi, and other organisms connect together as one, and synchronize their actions toward a common goal as growth. When one tree is sick, the nearby trees & overlaying fungi and other multi-cellular forms of life, living in symbiosis, send nutrients to that suffering tree, restoring it to health. Why? Because if one tree goes down, the whole forest suffers; the canopy creates a metaphorical steal trap door against all other elements of earth.

Just like a canopy makes a group of trees stronger, live longer, and thrive, the place I work has a similar mentality. When someone passes, we cry together. We’ve got a network of support, from veterans top-producing agents in this field to cutting edge technology pulled from other industries. Coaching, mentoring, sponsorship, and partnership are all encouraged, creating a symbiosis towards growth.

No matter how isolated one may become, you cannot deny the benefits exemplified when living organisms work together toward a common goal. Whether its the forest floor networks or a community-based work culture, 2 is always better than 1. You are a resource that works best when used in conjunction with another’s resource, & vice versa.

With this in mind, I leave you these 2 questions:

1) Who have you learned from lately?

2) What can you do today to help?

<3, Annie Z.

Sources Include:

June 2016 TED talk, How Trees Talk to Each Other | Susanne Simard

May 2018 Smithsonian Magazine, The Whispering Trees | Richard Grant

November 16, 2015, Trees Talk | Italia Peretti

Keefe Kares 5th Annual Fundraiser has Online Bidding Available! Help your community out by supporting the local charities and vendors participating in this year’s event!

Weekend in Wisco!

October 17th, 2019  

The events below were found using; follow the link to see this useful resource in action for yourself! There are so many things going on!

There are SO MANY things going on locally this weekend! Here’s what I’ll be looking into:

  • I’d like to see you at the open house I’m holding this weekend:

W5641 Lakeville Rd., Walworth, WI 53184 : 12 – 4 pm on Sat., Oct 19th!

this home could be exactly what your friend/family member is looking for!

Food, drinks, games, activities, music and much more fun throughout the day!

Food, live entertainment, community activism, local crafters and vendors and more!

Corn maze, pumpkin carving, live performances/entertainment, free hayrides to pumpkin patch & lunch available!!!

Live music, performances, and tons of food – don’t miss it!

But wait, there’s more! As per usual, there are plenty of other options of activities going on this weekend. These are just my faves… what are you up to?!

Leave a comment ~ let me know! I’ll see ya around! 🙂 ❤ always,

Annie Z.

Sources include:  

Visit Walworth County

Facebook Events

#OpenHouses #WalworthCo #WassupWisco #WeekendinWisco