At the time of this writing, March 30th 2020, we are in the midst of a global pandemic that has brought a lot of people, business and activities to a standstill. It is unexpected times! And I hope everyone is doing the best they can, staying safe and healthy, and positive that this will all be over soon enough.
In the meantime, let me distract you with what’s going on in Real Estate. In Ontario Real Estate is still keeping on: It has been deemed an Essential service, and the market is still rolling here in Niagara. While it is “Essential”, it is important that we balance “needs” and “wants”:
For those who don’t “need” to buy or sell a home, talk to your Realtor™ about delaying until a safer and potentially more fruitful time. This is just for now, during the Covid-19 crisis. It is recommended by our Real Estate associations in Ontario not to do any face to face business, and it is truly the best thing we can all do right now. Keep in close touch with your Realtor™ to update you when it’s safe to move.
But, if you MUST buy or sell right now due to your circumstances (and because of the nature of this business there are many circumstances that require immediacy), here are some Ways to keep Doing the Real Estate Things – safely!
You can keep – or start – looking to Buy a new Home:
- Open houses are cancelled, so browsing in person isn’t allowed, but browsing online is still allowed – and, it’s improving. More Realtors™ putting homes up for sale right now are providing Virtual tours and videos to get a good inside & outside view of a home from the comfort of your couch. However, searching for homes on Realtor.ca can be glitchy – and you can’t see homes that have conditionally sold. So, get set up with auto notifications with your Realtor™ so you can see what’s (still) getting listed out there everyday. Then, any homes you need a better look at, get them to do a video/Facetime/Live/Zoom preview walking through the home, narrating & interacting with you!
- If you see any homes in person, ask about how Showing Policies have changed and follow protocols. For instance, using disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, wipes being provided on entry. Your showing Realtor™ should be using these products, making it easy to avoid touching surfaces, and maintaining a safe distance from you.
- If you’re not avidly looking yet, but want to know: What homes are available out there right now; What new or improved Mortgage products there are for you to take advantage of; What financial institutions are doing and the daily changes on that end are; How the market is still going; and What Timing might be best going forward are – consult with one of us. No one is more dialed in to this stuff daily than a Realtor™.
You can put your Home up For Sale – with the right, safe, careful strategies and virtual tools:
- With no open houses, video tours and other virtual tools should be used – and used well – by your listing Realtor™. This is our time to shine! Good listing Realtors™ provide virtual tours, video walk-throughs and other visual tools already – as many out of town Buyers would be viewing homes in this way anyway. Discuss these options with your Realtor™ – and if you’ve got a social media-savvy Realtor™, they’ll know how to maximize the exposure of these products online to snag a Buyer.
- Your listing Realtor™ should be keeping you up to date on any changes to measures & protocols for showing your house. They should also provide sanitizing products and signage for showings and include details in their listing or directly to showing Realtors™ of showing protocols. They should also be employing “Screening” measures to Buyers & their Realtors™ so that anyone who has travelled, who is sick or showing symptoms, or who is under quarantine will not be permitted. They should also implement limitations on the number of people seeing the home at once, with no concurrent showings of groups. Your comfort level should be of utmost importance. If you don’t want to show – discuss delaying listing until a better time with your Realtor™ (and discuss the market).
- No time like the present to have your home as squeaky clean as possible! Invest in cleaning products and make a regimen of not only prepping your home for showings, but sweeping through it afterwards. Talk to me about my Upgraded Listing Plan for this time, which includes a Showings Clean Kit and a post-showings ‘wipedown’.
- We already have the tools in place to sign and negotiate offers with online forms and e-signature softwares. And we are in constant contact with law offices, inspectors, and mortgage advisors to ensure the process will go ahead in all circumstances as we get through this, together.
Whatever decision that is, as a Realtor™ I’m more energized than ever be here to help navigate how to get my clients’ home goals completed in 2020 as planned.
Let me know if I can help. With literally Anything. I’ve got sanitizer!
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