COVID-19 Mobility Updates for April
As COVID-19 continues to impact our way of life and business, we have been working to collect reliable information to help support our clients now and in the future. All of us, in every industry and in every role, are receiving information that changes daily, sometimes hourly. Over the course of the past two weeks, however, we are gaining a better understanding of the pandemic’s impact on the mobility industry, as well as business in general, large and small. At this time, we feel it is appropriate to share the recent updates we’ve received from our reliable sources.
Real Estate Services Continue with Some Hesitation • The real estate market remains active, but with accommodations including social distancing, deep cleaning and the use of PPE; • Virtual open houses / walk throughs are increasingly common; • Virtual closings via video call are increasingly common;
• Virtual notary is available in some states;
• Brokers and state realtor associations are implementing automatic extension clauses in contracts in case any party (buyer, seller, lender, title, attorney) cannot perform the closing date. Additionally, force majeure clauses are being added to contracts, allowing the parties to cancel at no penalty if due to COVID-19. • Please contact XONEX directly to discuss the possible implications for BVO and GBO programs.
Mortgage Providers are Still Servicing Loans • It’s expected that interest rates will bounce up and down for the short term; • Providers with heavy digital footprints have adjusted more quickly; • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are working with lenders to assist with rate locks and payment forgiveness; • Appraisal requirements are adapting and many lenders have authorized desk review appraisals on a large portion of loans originated; • Requirements for verbal verification may become more stringent to ensure there are no last minute changes to compensation before closing.
Temporary Living Providers are Experiencing Many Challenges • Many temporary living providers are contracting and closing inventory. Local mandates on the East and West coast have restricted or eliminated short-term leases. For this reason, some providers will require an annual lease to obtain accommodations; • We are finding that most transferees will be allowed to stay in units until current leases expire; • Challenges remain coordinating furniture rentals, utility hookups, house cleaning and on-site services. Many of these are on a case-by-case basis, so please contact XONEX directly with any specific concerns; • Intern program solutions vary widely based on company and location. In some cases, intern programs will be remote for the 2020 season. Other companies are moving forward. Here is an update on intern programs in the wake of COVID-19.
Household Goods Still Moving • Household Goods providers are still operating in most areas, but regulations will vary so please reach out to XONEX directly for specific concerns; • Home surveys are being conducted virtually; • Greetings have been modified, social distances measures taken and PPE required for many providers.
Visa and Immigration Delays and Uncertainty • Immigration work orders are continuing to be processed, but processing times may be delayed due to changing market conditions, government office closures, etc.
Please know that several of these items will change in the coming days and weeks- and stay tuned for more information as we receive – and verify – updates as they come in. In the meantime, please contact XONEX Relocation if you need guidance specific to your program.