This virus is spreading fast, causing a lot of economic uncertainty around the world. Its impact on real estate market is also inevitable.
You might be thinking what will happen with the price of your home under such an economic strain? If you have been thinking about selling your home, you are undoubtedly concerned about the timing: should I sell now or put everything on hold and wait until this blows over? However, we just don’t know how long and how deep this waiting period is going to last.
The Bank of Canada slashed interest rates to 0.75 per cent with an intention of stimulating the economy. Their actions were fast and decisive, yet a rough measure to a fast approaching limit to what they will be able to do, as the spread of the virus continues.
With the way things are going, the next couple of months will be very telling at how deep the crisis is going to be. The economy may take a massive dip before it gets any better and if you can’t live through another correction and then wait again for a rebound – possibly for years, the time to sell is now.
If you have made a decision to sell now, you need to figure out who to team up with, given the spread of the impact.Don’t make a mistake of thinking everything will be fine – far from it. Federal and local governments around the world are taking dramatic measures to curtail the spread of infection why shouldn’t your realtor be in step with the times?
Let’s start with the first thing: interviewing realtors. You don’t need to schedule appointments in your house, and instead you can and should use video conferencing software like Zoom. It is very easy to use and free. Realtors can email you their marketing materials and review them with you as well as the pricing strategy, while you both look at computer screens from different locations.
Ask the realtors about their perspectives to the current situation and what changes have they made to their practices and standards. How have they changed the way they are dealing with clients to keep them safe? How about marketing the property? Open house policies and showings, doe they stay the same? How do they bring more viewings of your property and what do they do to keep buyers attention focused on your home?
Once you have made your decision on your realtor of choice, invite them over to your house, so they can see what you are going to be selling and show them around, while keeping a safe 2m/6ft distance of course. This will help you get a better feel for who they are, and finalize the last few missing points from your previous remote interactions. Once you are clear about every step, you can either physically or electronically sign the listing agreement.
Next on the list is taking photos of the property. Here is where your realtor really needs to be on the ball. The previous limit on the number of photos we could load on MLS was 20. This is changing, and we can now load up to 40. The selling game is about weeding out those buyers that are not seriously considering your home, and the more visual information we can provide them with, the more accurately the buyers will be able to assess their interest in your home without having to go there themselves. However, photos will only show a part of the story. What you should also expect your realtor to do is a curated video tour of your home, and this is where buyers will truly be getting a feel for what’s going on inside and can better gauge whether they are interested in your property.
Once your home is on MLS, there will be showings. This is where the buyers come to see if your home is worth the value for the money they want to spend. This is where you need to be ready. Firstly, ask your realtor to install ‘remove shoes’ signs and communicate to the buyer and their agent to wash their hands with soap and use hand sanitizers at a bathroom closest to your entrance door. Visitors should be notified to abstain from touching door handles, light switches, walls and railings in your home. In fact, you should make sure that all the lights are left on and all the doors are open prior to a showing. And one more thing – you can forget about holding open houses.
Before you get into any of it, ask your realtor what their plans are, and if you see them hesitating – they are not the right person for you. Choose a realtor who demonstrates common sense and adaptability in these uncertain times. Hire a real estate team who cares, thinks outside of the box and delivers, no matter what’s going on around us.
With Love & Gratitude