2020 started off as a very strong seller’s market in the GTA. We saw multiple offers on many listings and properties selling above the asking price. In the past couple of weeks, COVID19 has drastically changed the way we do business. What the impact of this will be on our real estate market is yet to be determined and will depend on a number of factors including how long the pandemic lasts. At Benczik Team Realty, we have been focused on how we can adapt our business practices and in some cases have altered our services to responsibly serve our team, clients and community.
As a society, we are going through a drastic shift in the way we live and work. So far, here are some changes we have made as a company. All our team members are working from home and we have moved our files to a secure cloud-based program. We host all internal and most external meetings via phone or video. We are taking some time to further strengthen our processes to weather the storm in the most effective way possible for our team and our clients.
The real estate industry worldwide has had to adapt in a short period of time to accommodate public health recommendations to self isolate to protect our community. Never before in our lifetimes have we had the opportunity to save lives by staying home. It has its challenges, but it is not nearly as challenging as what our fellow friends and neighbours working in the healthcare industry are dealing with at this time. There are some essential reasons to move at this time. To name a few of those reasons, we have clients who have purchased homes already or have sold their homes with a looming closing date. We have seniors who can no longer live safely in their homes and cannot afford to carry their existing home while they pay for their new accommodations. There are many other reasons, people may have a need to move during this time. For those homeowners who need to continue with the sale of their property at this time, here’s what we are recommending.
No in-person meetings. That means we will assess the value of your home via a video tour. We can work with you using multiple technologies available. If you have a floor plan of your property, this will help us but it is not necessary. We have been selling real estate in Markham, Stouffville and Durham areas for over 30 years and have the experience to guide you if you are in need of selling your home at this time. If you are in that situation, please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help.
If there are other essential in-person appointments to manage, here are our recommendations to keep you and our community safe. All surfaces should be disinfected and wiped down before and after contact with the property. A sanitizing station and gloves should be provided upon entry to the home for visitors. One way to limit exposure is by opening cabinet doors, closet doors and any other spaces so no one needs to touch the property. Finally, if a homeowner, buyer or agent has travelled in the past 14 days or is experiencing any cold or flu symptoms, even if minor, they are required to reschedule their appointment.
Home Buyers who must buy now need to take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe. Here are some ideas we have.
Use technology to purchase a home. Ask your agent to provide a virtual tour of the property instead of physically viewing the home until you have made a serious decision to pursue the home for purchase. You can make an offer on the home you love conditional upon viewing it in person if required and when you do, practice social distancing by using your own vehicle to travel to the home. Sanitize your hands before and after entering the property. When inside the property, avoid touching any surfaces and consider wearing gloves and a mask which we will provide for you. Lastly, if you have travelled in the past 14 days or if you are unwell, please do not leave your home for any reason except to get medical care.
We are your neighbours and we are in this together. Please reach out to us if you need anything as we are here to help in any way we can, especially those of you who are vulnerable, ill or in financial need. We will drop groceries or medications to you on your porch. Our team is actively looking for people in our community who we can help during this time, so please let us know if you or someone you know could use food or medication assistance at this time.
Rachel Kavanagh, Broker
RE/MAX All-Stars Benczik Team Realty