COVID-19 has forced the real estate market to adjust and learn as the market changes.

This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to the Butler County Times-Gazette at

When you meet your realtor to either sell a house or buy a house, what is the first thing you do? You shake their hand. It’s that first impression that can help a realtor give that piece of mind to the buyer.

You cannot do that anymore. Not since the spread of COVID-19 and guidelines by the CDC and the World Health Organization says to keep at least six feet away.

For Butler County realtors, COVID-19 has changed how they do business for now and potentially for the foreseeable future. The adaptation of virtual showings allows the potential buyers to see a property without stepping foot on the property.

"In the past, you had to have pictures that were good enough to entice them to get off the couch," Linda Baines of Sun Group Real Estate said. "Now, you have to be good enough to get them off the couch through video."

As realtors themselves take precautions based on the pandemic, those who are still living in their house as they try to sell have made adjustments. Some houses that are still occupied have supplied hand sanitizer and wipes for those who are coming into the house.

As real estate is deemed essential business, the better realtors are rising to the top, showing off their innovation and their ability to get out there and help the consumer the best way during these trying times.

"I think we’re going to see those realtors who are innovative rise above those who are complacent," Linda Baines of Sun Group Real Estate said. "It’s going to show who the quality realtors are."

When talking to realtors, the most common recommendation is do not bring your entire family with you. Like going to the grocery story, if it can be helped, limit it to one or two people during a live showing.

The market is still hopping for real estate. Those who were on the fence have made a decision and those who are in the market to buy a house are either ready to make a move or holding off until after the pandemic passes.

"The ones that are out there that want to buy are going to buy," Baines said. "It goes for sellers, too. They are more motivated to sell at this point or they’ve pulled their houses off the market for now.

In some instances where a house is sold and an estate sale needs to happen and it cannot due to guidelines, some real estate agencies have adapted in how they do their business. Sun Group has an online auction and estate sale tab on their website at to move those items that would have normally sold at an auction or in-person estate sale.

"Some of the innovations, like the virtual tours and online auctions are here to stay," Baines said. "It helps us and helps the buyers and sellers. Change isn’t always bad."