While our daily lives have slowed down as our province battles the second wave of COVID-19, the Fraser Valley real estate market has shown no signs of stopping. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board recorded several consecutive months of record-breaking listings and sales, despite the fact we are all living in the midst of a pandemic.
While it is an excellent time to put your home on the market or to invest in a new property, I understand there may be some hesitation. Can you safely open your home to prospective buyers? Or can you safely attend viewings of properties? The short answer is yes. The real estate industry has proven that it can conduct business effectively and efficiently while strictly following all public health guidance as directed by our provincial health officer. Below I will offer some strategies for buying and selling your home – the new normal (COVID-19).
Selling Your Home During COVID-19
The health and safety of my clients are of top priority to me. For this reason, open houses are currently on hold until B.C. flattens the curve again, as per the guidance of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and the Real Estate Council of BC. The first part of my marketing strategy is to shoot a comprehensive and high-quality video tour of your home, have a thorough digital floor plan created, and to take beautiful photographs showcasing your property. Giving prospective buyers a clear picture of the property is the first layer of protection, allowing you to filter out the serious buyers from casual browsers.
Private viewings are still permitted under the current health orders as they are not considered “social gatherings”. All of my sellers are delivered a Personal Protection Equipment basket containing hand sanitizer and a list of requirements for prospective buyers to view your home, including:
- Please hand sanitize before entering
- Please wear a mask
- Please remove your shoes
- Please refrain from touching surfaces
- Please limit the number of people in the home to the buyers and their Realtor
- Please do not have children in the home (excluding infants being carried)
- Please refrain from using the bathroom
Buying Your Home During COVID-19
My recommendation to you as a prospective buyer during a pandemic is to first speak to your financial advisor and to be preapproved for a mortgage. In order to know what kind of property you are in the market for, you need to know how much your mortgage lender is willing to loan you and exactly how much you can contribute to a down payment. Try to reflect on your must-haves and dealbreakers so you can begin your search with clear boundaries set, which will save you time in your search and reduce the number of viewings you will attend.
“As our region faces a current surge in cases of COVID-19 and gatherings are being further restricted, it’s important to emphasize that the real estate industry – one of the first to adapt successfully to the necessary safety requirements – continues to be vigilant in order to contain the spread. REALTORS® are strongly encouraging their clients to embrace technology and avoid in-person activities.” Baldev Gill, Chief Executive Officer of the FVREB
When you have found a property you are interested in, it is important to do your research before considering attending a viewing. Review all of the photos and videos made available, plan a drive-by of the property, and investigate the neighbourhood. These are simple ways to ensure you haven’t missed a detail about the home or neighbourhood that may wane your interest in the property. As we work again to flatten the curve of COVID-19 in BC, it’s advised to only attend a viewing if you are seriously considering purchasing the property and have an action plan prepared with your financial advisor.
I continue to follow guidance from the provincial health officer, the FVREB, and the RECBC to ensure your health and safety while buying and selling your home – the new normal (COVID-19). I encourage you to keep up to date with the most recent COVID-19 information as it is an evolving situation.
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Healthlink BC– COVID-19 Resources
- Government of Canada COVID-19 Outbreak Update
- FVREB COVID-19 Updates
It is a challenging time for everyone, and it is important that we all do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Realtors across BC have proven we can continue to conduct business safely and effectively. The dramatic spike in Fraser Valley real estate sales is evidence that Fraser Valley residents are confident in the health and safety practices that Realtors are following to keep their clients safe. Right now is an excellent time to enter the real estate market, as long as we be kind, be calm, and be safe. If you have any questions about buying or selling your home – the new normal (COVID-19) feel free to give me a call at 604 302 0177.
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