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How is Covid19 changing the culture of Real Estate?

April 8th 2020

These past few weeks it seems as though we have stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. So many things have changed. Many things continue to change. Realtors have been deemed an essential service...but it's not "business as usual". We are to be completing transactions or assisting those who must buy or sell within the next couple of months. Stagers are hard to find as they are not deemed essential so some of them are doing virtual consultations to guide sellers through modifications that will help position them for a strong sale. Our photoographer is operating half time so photography may take a little longer than usual. 

Several people have asked me whether this is a good time to sell or buy.

Sellers that have to go should be on the market. We have seen some properties disappear as quickly as they list while others are very quiet. If you are on the market this is a time to try and stay patient and calm while we ride Covid19 out. It's critical to look our best in terms of presentation as showings may be fewer and farther apart. Buyers will be serious and intentional for the most part. 

If you are sellers I recommend placing hand sanitizer and/or latex/plastic gloves at the entry of your home. For our part we will ask the realtors to ensure as few people as possible are there for showings. The potential buyers yes. Their relatives and children probably no. Showing audiences may be capped at two people etc.

Open houses are now prohibited in Ontario. Some agents are trying virtual open houses where the agent comes in and sets up a live feed for buyers to connect and ask questions. 

Buyers...should you pull the trigger now? Can you get a better deal? It depends. Some properties are still having bidding wars - particularly under the 600k mark. For those properties you want to shop under your budget because if there are multiple offers you will need access to funds to strengthen your bid. Higher end homes or homes that have been sitting may be more negotiable but each of them may respond differently to a lower offer. Keep in mind that with very high end homes they don't get stale in the same time frame as lower priced homes. You need to trust your realtor to guide you through valuations.

If you must shop at this time be prepared to answer questions & potentially sign documents as to whether you have any symptoms of Covid19 or have travelled etc. Also be prepared to see gloves and/or masks that you will be required to wear visiting homes.  Not only is it important we keep the sellers home as healthy as possible we also need to make sure you are protected as much as possible.  

Electronic documents will be the norm as the less contact we have the safer everyone will remain.  

Although things may be different business continues to go on & transactions continue to take place.

As always, don't hesitate to contact me if you have any qeustions about the Real Estate market. Speaking of questions - make sure you ask your Realtor for advice whether you are buyers or sellers - there is a wealth of knowledge and experience that comes from a high volume of transactions.

Stay Well,

Kim

 

 

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