How Agents Sell Shelters...

While We Shelter in Place

There are two primary groups of home-buyers during quarantine:

1. City residents stacked into a high-rise for two months while the specter of corona swirls through the dirty streets like the hot wind of a Manhattan summer.

2. Fairfield County residents whose fantasies have been singularly reduced to never having to look at their home again.

Which had us scratching our heads with two disparate but pressing questions: How does the real estate machine work at a time when we’re loathe to venture from our sanctums of immunity? Also, is COVID kicking out any new trends in personal property?

We turned to Mindy Wolkstein, broker/realtor at William Raveis Real Estate. The answers? Carefully. And yes.

Mindy sent us photos of a new, beautiful listing: 68 Myren Street, Fairfield. The house is airy and spacious, incorporating many of the trends we learned about when creating our 2020 Home issue: large outdoor living space with fireplace, French doors in the master bedroom, floor-to-ceiling windows to bring the outside inside.

The property also includes the two newest trends: home office and pool/beach access.

“People are working from home now and need an office,” Mindy explains. They want a pool or the beach because “kids may not have camp or they may want to avoid crowded areas.”

Now let’s pretend you’ve spent hours pouring over real estate, you fall in love with her listing, and you show absolutely no signs of having corona. Now what?

According to Mindy, “First, if they’d like, either I or the homeowner can do a FaceTime showing, going around the house with a selfie-stick. If they want to visit, I have a protocol.” Wearing a mask, gloves and booties, Mindy enters the home before you arrive for the tour to turn on lights and open cupboards. “I’ll open any doors, closets or drawers if they wish.”

Next, only the people involved in the selling of the home are allowed in: no kids, piles of cousins, or dubiously-related realty-peepers.

If you don’t have a mask, gloves and booties (because why would anyone carry spare booties) she provides them. Thus attired, your socially-distant walk-through commences.

After you leave, Mindy re-enters to disinfect, close cabinets, turn off lights, and lock the doors, possibly leaving the house cleaner than it has ever been before. She laughs, “I take care of other people’s houses better than my own. I did that even before corona.”

Let’s say you love it, put in an offer, then freak out. Mindy understands and tells this story:

“I rented a little cottage in Westport but would go back to the city every weekend. On Memorial Day weekend I said to myself, ‘Why am I in the city? I could be at the beach in Westport!’ So I stopped coming to city as often. Then I found a beautiful home and I was so nervous to put in an offer. I figured I’d wake up in the middle of the night screaming about what I had done. But I didn’t. That was 22 years ago. And my whole life changed for the better.”

For more information on this listing, visit


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