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Selling Real Estate in a Pandemic

 

Selling Real Estate in a Pandemic

John Best

We are living in an unprecedented time – a new chapter in history. Every moment of the day has been changed by COVID-19 – from all the activities which we enjoyed to even valuable time with family and friends. We hear stories about real estate – from articles in the paper, radio, and TV…. but what does all this mean and how do the facts align with potential fiction? A couple of things are true – a) The real estate market is currently one of the strongest “Selling” markets we have seen in a couple of decades. b) Mortgage interest rates are the lowest we have seen in decades. As a point of interest, I remember selling real estate when interest rates were 22% – can you imagine?? And today, you can negotiate to potentially 4% or lower.

So where is the fiction? a) Prices will not go up for ever; b) Interest rates will not always stay at these low levels. c) There are several potential issues which could disrupt the economy going forward.

Supply and demand

As mentioned, this market is based on an economic principal “supply and demand” …we currently have limited supply vs. consistent demand. If one looks at the statistics for the past year, one can clearly see the drop in available properties, i.e., listings are way down. However, with most people working from home, there has been a lot of discussion about the need for extra space… more communal and family relaxation space. The term “staycation” is very popular… so suddenly, swimming pools are very popular whereas a couple of years ago, they were very difficult to sell. Recreation space, bigger back yards, patio space, and porch space has been in demand. There is another element to this equation and that is the demographic shift which is occurring. The older generation and the baby boomers have been staying in their homes because the living options tend to be more in congregate settings – such as condominiums, apartments, or senior’s accommodation, which in this current COVID-19 time is somewhat worrisome – even though possibly less work. At the same time, the younger generation is exploring the purchase of their first home and as mentioned are struggling to find something that meets their budget requirements.

What this all means is …. if you are thinking about selling…. get good advice relative to price and expectations. Now is definitely the time to sell and move forward. However, make sure you have a plan…. where are you going to move to?? Another popular trend at the moment is “Multi Generation Living” which means that often families of different generations share a home. Do not worry about potential buyers walking thru your home because the technology is wonderful. A lot of home selling is done virtually now. There are amazing “walk thru” presentations online so a benefit of Covid is some of the new technology. However, before an offer is drafted, a potential Buyer should always walk thru the property…. cameras can not always identify everything that a Buyer may like or find distracting. Room sizes, colours, windows, or other important items such as roofing, eaves, electrical service may not be as clear as when one is viewing a home in person. If you have been thinking of selling….do not hesitate…. now is the time.

By Judy Marsales, Broker of Record

Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.

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  • Ms Marsales missed the mark for several reasons. She goes on about supply and demand without any consideration for many who can no longer afford market rent or the ability to purchase a home given the ridiculous price of housing.

    In this city, the greater priority is housing for low income people , social housing. Too many homeless people which the encampments and protest and encampment outside city hall showed the greater priority.

    The real estate market in my opinion is not an essential service like medical care and food.

    She presents a scenario that the real estate industry is safe however in my experience their is conflicting information as to what is acceptable. In my case I asked the Real Estate Council of Ontario if my complaint had validity which they responded that yes it did have some validity thus I made a formal complaint. All related to the every changing covid policy that is not always so clear and in terms of OH&S issues that individual agents may not clearly check and follow covid policies.

    Personally, I cannot forget how Ms Marsales treated me when she was MPP. Actions speak louder then words and she really has no concern for many in this city who struggle as low income individuals who struggle with a myriad of issues going back many, many years.

    Greed is her world in my opinion.

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