12 Jun COVID-19: Can I Still Sell My House?
It is becoming increasingly unclear about what we can and cannot do, with restrictions caused by COVID-19 changing at a rapid pace. The media are bombarding us with information that feels almost impossible to sift through for relevancy. Many people are anxious about how the Coronavirus will impact the Real Estate Market, which makes up 17.4% of British Columbia’s GDP.
COVID-19 hit as the property market was thriving. In February 2020, property sales were up 27% when compared to February 2019, and the national average house price was up a staggering 15%. The current global crisis has altered the property market surge as the public follow strict social distancing rules, with sales during April 2020 seeing a decrease of over 30% when compared to April 2019. As Real Estate agents start to adapt to the new restrictions, it is expected that this number will slowly begin to increase. Realtors have managed to implement processes to execute a sale/purchase while abiding by the current social distancing laws.
The simple answer to ‘can I still sell my house?’ is yes. Realtors have received the green light as essential workers; the only thing that has changed is their general day-to-day process. Tim Higham Real Estate is well equipped to guide you through the process efficiently and effectively. Here is a list of how things will look during the epidemic:
Open houses are off the cards
Open house restrictions are a devastating blow to purchasers, as they want to get a proper feel of the house before they make that life-changing purchase. Your Realtor will do everything in their power to make sure you are well informed to choose the home of your dreams. There will be more videos and photos, detailed floor plans, and virtual house tours on all listed properties.
Private showings are permitted, but with strict protocols in place
Realtors understand that while the online techniques are fantastic tools, nothing will ever match the value of walking through a property in person. Private showings are still permitted with strict social-distancing procedures in place. Handshakes are now a thing of the past, with a six feet distance required to be maintained. Sanitizer will be used in abundance with the Realtor and customer having to sanitize on entry and high-contact areas such as doorknobs and countertops sanitized before and after each visit.
Welcome to the digital age
Technology has enabled us to still proceed with property purchases & sales while ensuring social distancing is maintained. Digital signatures will become the new norm, and all lenders have introduced smartphone apps that will facilitate the financing process, with all payments involved in the process to be done electronically.
Changes to the collection of keys
One of the significant traditions that stamps the transaction as complete is the transfer of keys from the seller to the buyer. Unfortunately, this tradition has been disrupted, with keys being sanitized before being left in a lockbox on the premises.
A crucial component of every Real Estate transaction is the home inspection. This protects the buyers from significant repairs required or any structural issues. Do not stress, home inspections are still an essential service and will continue to play a major role in the Real Estate transaction.
There are a lot of extreme reports about the housing market plummeting. However, BCREA predicts a steep decline in home sales (volume not price) in the second quarter, followed by a slow recovery. With the small decrease in housing prices to recover to the baseline occurring in approximately 12 months. Despite conflicting reports in the media, the housing market is expected to remain relatively steady as there are not enough listings for buyers to take advantage of low prices. You will find that if purchases are down, so are the number of listings! You can be confident in the robust housing market and know that your Realtor is prepared to guide you through the process to make your dreams come true.
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