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In just a few weeks, the outbreak of the COVID19 coronavirus has changed the way we live, work and do business in many ways. Guidelines change daily, and we are all doing what we can to keep up while also trying to maintain some semblance of routine and stability.
Many are wondering about the usually fairly straightforward process of buying or selling a home in the Waterloo Region. With no time frame attached to the length of restrictions those who had been planning to greet the Spring by buying or selling a home in the Waterloo Region things have suddenly become very confusing.
To help clear up some of the confusion we at Team Pinto put together this short FAQ. However, if your question isn’t answered here, or you simply have different ones, please feel free to contact us.
Are Realtors in the Waterloo Region Still Working?
For the most part yes. Most of us belong to larger brokerages – in our case the amazing Re/Max Twin City brokerage – and we are not spending time at the main offices unless absolutely necessary, but working from our satellite offices (usually at home) instead, as the Ontario government suggests.
In terms of properties, they are still being bought, sold and shown. The very active Waterloo Region market has, so far, changed very little. The way we are going about navigating buyers and sellers through it has.
Are Homes Still Being Shown?
They are, but with an abundance of caution. Vacant homes, those the owners are not currently occupying, are the easiest to show, as they are for the most part unoccupied and an pre-showing clean will help ensure that touring it is as sanitary as it would usually be.
Occupied homes present more of a challenge, but with some even more careful precautions – ensuring that all occupants are healthy, limiting all contacts between people and keeping showing groups very small, minimizes risks. A showing observes the rules of social distancing – no handshakes, no touching, lots of hygiene precautions, maintaining that six foot distance. We want people to enjoy their Waterloo Region homes, and to do that they have to be healthy.
Aren’t Real Estate Brokers Just Out To Make a Buck? Do They Really Care?
No. Would we like to continue growing our business? Yes. No one is really enjoying the restrictions we are all under at the moment. But we also know that for some people waiting until things settle to buy or sell a home in the Waterloo Region isn’t really an option.
They have to move for work. They may have already found another home and need to sell the one they have. They may want to take advantage of the lower interest mortgage rates available right now to make their long held dream of homeownership a reality. We want to keep helping those people.
Not, however, at the expense of anyone’s health. Like all Realtors we are people too. The at home Team Pinto includes two young boys too, and so their safety is of paramount importance to us. As is that of our clients. We will show homes in a way considered safe for as long as such ways exist, but never if we think it poses a risk to anyone involved.
I Want To Wait to Buy Or Sell, But Want To Be Prepared. What Can I Do?
Things are strange and confusing right now, but stories coming from China and other countries impacted before Canada are encouraging. So things will get better. However, if you want to delay buying or selling a Waterloo Region home right now that’s perfectly understandable.
But there is a lot you can do to get ready. Use this time at home to think about what your really want in a home and to fix a budget. Get prequalified for a mortgage. When the homebuyers do start flooding out competition may be stiff, so having all your financing in order will give you an automatic edge. Find a real estate professional to work with. They can give you lots of information about the market, the Waterloo Region in general and keep you updated on the real estate situation in ‘real time’.
Above all though, stay safe. The Waterloo Region is our home too, and at Team Pinto, as we are sure is the case at other real estate companies in the area, our biggest concern is keeping our wonderful neighbourhoods intact. And the people in them – or planning to move to them – are a very important part of that.
As we mentioned at the start, if you have any questions, or need any help, give us a call or drop us a line. We’d be happy to hear from you.