Buying and selling during the COVID-19 pandemic

[Synergy Mortgage –  May 6, 2020]
The spring market is an active time for home buying and selling but this year it will be quieter. This is due to the safety measures taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If you are planing to make a move this spring, it is possible, however please consider the following information.
The BC Government declared real estate an essential service on March 26, 2020. But it is far from business as usual.  The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has made some strong recommendations. The 14,000 members are being encouraged to refrain from holding open houses.  Small private showings are possible in some cases.
Realtors are being asked to follow government recommendations on limiting social interactions. They have removed the rule requiring that listed properties be available for showings.  Some sellers are allowing showings and and if the property is vacant it will be easier to access. These strict measures have left many homebuyers and sellers to rethink their plans.
There are serious challenges and risks of doing business during this pandemic.
The question is, ‘Can you wait it out?’
It depends on your personal situation. For example, if you are relocating for a new job or finalizing a divorce you may need to find housing right away. If you have financial challenges, selling your home quickly may be your only option. There are many other situations that may be affecting you and your family.
Some sellers sold their homes pre-pandemic. They are now scrambling to find a new home either to rent or buy. Both, may be challenging during COVID-19. Even moving in with parents or friends is likely not an option due to the obvious risks.
We know everyone wants to stay safe, but waiting to buy a home may be difficult. We are sensitive to the fact that there are people who cannot wait this out and we are here to help.
For motivated buyers and sellers, real estate agents are making virtual videos showings. Mortgage brokers, appraisers and lawyers are all working together to assist you. There are changes in place to make the process safe as possible.
Tips for real estate transactions during COVID-19:
  • Be pre-approved for a mortgage before you go shopping
  • Work with your realtor by phone and email, and ask for virtual showing
  • If possible, do a drive-by before requesting an in-person showing
  • When doing a showing take all precautions to protect yourself and others
  • Showings must be private (small family groups only) and ‘no touch’
  • Social distancing still applies (stay a minimum of 2 meters apart from your realtor)
  • Wearing face-coverings, masks, and using hand sanitizer will help to keep everyone safe
  • For buyers, consider the impact of your investments (downpayment money) during the economic downturn as the markets are uncertain at this time
  • Job changes and job losses may jeopardize your ability to secure mortgage financing
Thank you for supporting each other with small acts of kindness, care and compassion. We are in this together and we will get through this stronger on the other side. Be safe and stay home as much as possible.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns, or if you want to chat, we are here for you as always.
Dorothy + Chana

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