The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has definitely slowed down the number of MLS sales in Calgary’s resale market in the past month.
But there are still many people out there selling their home and many others looking to buy a home in this market due to their personal circumstances.
For both, it’s important that they follow some expert advice from realtors on how to manage their needs and expectations during this environment.
Many health and safety measures have been put in place to protect both buyers and sellers. Processes have been developed to accommodate the sale and purchase of a home. And technology is being used like never before, such as virtual tours, to help both sellers and buyers in the process.
“Right now, these are certainly challenging times as people are concerned about the health and safety of their families and friends plus the strength of their communities. People are also worried about their investments, whether they own or are looking to own their homes. In times like this, the best agents separate themselves even further by staying informed and being great communicators,” said David Lem, Manager/Associate Broker of RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) in Calgary.
“Clients are counting on us to provide a sense of clarity to these confusing times so it’s essential for agents to stay in tune with everything that is impacting our business and be the resource of factual information to them. As clients face uncertainty, they need a reliable and credible source to share their concerns and anxiety. The best agents are great communicators. This means listening to and understanding their fears, analyzing what is in their best interests under each circumstance, and ensuring you advise accordingly.”
Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President for RE/MAX of Western Canada, said real estate has been deemed an essential service which is important. Leading up to the coronavirus it was a typical run up to the spring market as people sold homes and many of them had to find a home to buy.
“Realtors are out there helping them, giving safety regulations and home seller/buyer comfort levels. There are certainly sales still occurring,” said Ash. “Certainly yes volumes are down considerably but there’s still a segment of the market that for whatever personal circumstances are involved they have to sell or buy.”
For sellers, it’s important that they work through their realtor to ensure they’re comfortable that the health safety guidelines are being met should the home be shown.
“My advice would go further. Be patient with pricing. Certainly there are people out there who may want to try to take advantage of the situation. ‘Hey the market is down, prices are down, if you have to sell I’m here to make you a low ball offer’. It’s difficult unless they are in a very stressed, must-sell situation to be patient,” said Ash. “Things wound down quickly but we certainly expect things to wind up quickly too as this gets behind us.”
For buyers, Ash said, it’s important that they too keep health and safety practices top of mind when they are searching for homes. They should try to narrow down their search as much as possible, using the websites that are out there like remax.ca or realtor.ca or RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) and take advantage of the virtual tours so they are not needlessly disturbing people and affecting their comfort zones.
“Narrow it down as much as you can and then make your appointment to view with your realtor and meet at the house and ensure you’re following health, safety guidelines and social distancing practices and the advice of your realtor who is familiar with those practices,” added Ash.
With prices down now, it’s an enticing market for buyers.
“But I think the bigger thing actually is the advantage from the buyers perspective is the mortgage rates right now with the Bank of Canada having reduced 1.5 per cent over the last four or five weeks. There’s a huge advantage right now with mortgage qualifications.”