Its lockdown and everyone is running for the hills. Amazing response by the general public as a whole to nip this pandemic in the butt, great work people! However, we have families, investors, general property owners who are on a timeline to sell. We also have Buyers who, have been waiting 1.5yrs throughout our market correction to purchase.
Where are we now and where are we going?
The market had hit its low point in mid 2019. Prices generally speaking, corrected 10% (this is a starting point depending on location, price point and type of property) and have plateaued since June 2019. What has not plateaued is sales volumes. We are seeing sales volumes across the board range from 38%-52% increases each month from 2019 totals. Just in the last month we are now seeing prices inch upwards. There is much activity in the marketplace, Buyers are ready and making moves. The real story is inventory available. We have not seen a matching correlation of inventory on the market, thus Buyers are outnumbering Sellers.
Now that we have established a robust marketplace, what will happen with COVID-19 and our focus to self-isolate, social distance, and stay away from large groups. We do just that. Open Houses… that is a thing of the past I expect. Private showings? Absolutely… if the Sellers want you in their property that is.
And why wouldn’t they? As of March 17, 2020 there is approx. 186 confirmed cases and our total population is approximately 5 million. That puts a very small percentage of probability of anyone coming into contact with being a carrier. Buyers will not be coming into contact with the Sellers, and with the intention to be vigilant when viewing your property.
Assuming you book a private appointment and are granted access, have a plan. They Seller may/should have some pre-requisites for the visit and if not do the following. Plan to leave shoes outside. Do not touch anything in the home besides door handles to enter room and open closets. Feel free to wear gloves, sanitize hands after the showing. Do NOT view homes if you feel any symptoms!
Create a protocol with your listing real estate agent. One thing Sellers can count on is that if the Buyer is working with a licensed Realtor that they are pre-qualified. If the Realtor is willing to take their Buyer into public and show property, you can count on the pre-qualification re: health.
Open Houses are not a good idea for anyone involved. Or, opens can be done at a 1-group at a time procedure. Wearing foot slippers, shoe covers, gloves, masks are all options to supply viewing Buyers with. The most effective showing will be to utilize our digital technology and the virtual tour. Offers can also be made subject to viewing.
Disclosure is key! If you are self-quarantined due to potential exposure, or returning from a trip outside of Canada, definitely hold back showings until you are proven to be symptom free.
Residential real estate can continue. Taking action in a reasonable process, with a plan in place to keep all parties safe, this can be done.