Prime Edmonton Real Estate - Yes! Welcome, everyone to the Prime Edmonton Podcast, this is Jerad. I need to start off with an apology on my last podcast, did not notice until after I had recorded it and sent it out into the podcast world. But apparently, my new home makes new noises and those new noises get picked up on my old microphone. So, if you heard a little bit of a hum in the background of the last episode, I apologize for that that is not the way that I usually like to do business. But it’s out there, it’s done and we move on. We learn and we move on.
Today, and this is probably gonna be the last time we chat about Covid-19 for a while if ever again, because I think that there are far more qualified people to talk about it than myself. So it’s out of my personal experiences. I don’t know how much I would have to contribute to the conversation. But today we’re gonna talk about how Covid-19 has affected the real estate industry. There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there so I thought I would just share a little bit with you today. One point of misinformation that is out there is that the real estate industry is shut down. It’s actually not true and in one of the opening weeks during this pandemic, government of Alberta actually did deem real estate and real estate-related services as an essential service so that we are allowed to continue to do business.
Now the interesting thing with that is that I actually received a letter that I’m supposed to keep in my vehicle for, I believe for if not anyone else for law enforcement, stating that I am a licensed realtor in the province of Alberta and I am out and about on a daily basis executing my professional duties. Found that to be interesting. I don’t know if they’re just doing that as a preventative measure. Should there be a more stringent upholding of the stay at home guidelines that are currently in place? But I thought that was interesting nonetheless and probably something the general public is not aware of.
So, we are realtors in the province of Alberta are deemed an essential service and we are still out there. One of the things that has occurred as a result of the pandemic is that mortgage rates have gone down to now historic lows, Bank of Canada has cut their prime interest rate down to almost nothing if not nothing itself. So, what does that mean for you as a consumer? It means that you’ll be saving a lot of interest. A lot of money and interest for the first five years. In fact, I know that there are some mortgage folks out there who are saying these are such historic close that it would be advisable to try to lock in longer-term for a 10 or 15 year term at these rates because they are just so good. I’m not suggesting that I’m simply saying what I’ve heard out in the market. So one thing that has happened out there is that mortgage rates are super low.
Now having said that, with all of the economic upheaval that this has created, it is also created a lot of uncertainty. And within that uncertainty, a lot of folks are not interested in thinking of pretty much the biggest purchase they would ever make in their life. I get that a hundred percent. And I respect that. However, the reality is, is that we all need a place to live. People are always moving and that there’s still a market out there.
One of the things that I’ve seen that has come up that has been very interesting is we have been in the real estate industry, early adaptors and early adopters, and going back in a few years to doing things more on an online basis. With virtual tours, online videos, even something like this with a podcast, helping to get our homes for sale out into the market place. And that has been definitely ramped up here. You can now go online and mostly things will have a virtual tour, mostly things will have 3D picture, 360 degree pictures for you to be able to see rooms and layouts and things like that, finishes.
And real estate agents like myself are also going ahead and actually doing what’s called a virtual tour where you guys can actually zoom meeting in as a realtor walks through the property and can show it to you and we can answer any questions you may have. We have also been, early adapters as far as digital signatures and things of that nature for contracts we’ve been using digital signatures on contracts for almost a decade I wanna say. And so that is something that is normal. But technology has really helped realtors and new home sales people adapt and change very quickly to the fact that a lot of people who are interested in buying a home are not interested in going out and seeing a whole bunch of places.
The one thing that I’ve noticed because I have a couple of listed things right now are vacant properties, is that vacant properties are huge are far as viewings go. Both on the buy and the sell-side. People I think feel more at ease going into a vacant property because they understand that there is a much less likelihood of there being something that could be considered contagious. And so I have had people showing my properties still a few times a week and also recently, two days ago, I’ve been showing people vacant properties.
The one thing that’s changed for me within the showings is that now you know you have to bring masks and you also have to for yourself you suggest to people that they wear masks. And also I go on with Lysol wipes and I wipe down light switches, I wipe down handles, I wipe down banisters in advance for folks and make sure that we can protect ourselves as much as possible.
Something else that has become kind of the new norm is that there are Hold Harmless Agreements now. Now you always have to have paperwork and in this instance, there’s also no exception. Starting to pop up Hold Harmless paperwork, having prospective buyers going into homes saying that they will not hold the homeowner responsible should they believe that they catch Covid-19, Corona Virus as a result of viewing their property. That is something new and something interesting. I understand the logic behind it but I also understand how that would be a definite turn-off for those who are looking at houses having to worry about that.
And of course, there’s the social distancing aspect of it. Staying six feet away at minimum. The other day, it felt extremely odd to not shake hands with clients you know before and afterwards. But I think that that’s just something that is changing in general in society.
Now having said that, market is still moving there. Still people moving and wanting to move, I’m still being contacted. And we’ve seen quite a few, quite an increase in people viewing properties on our website and that may just be because people are quite frankly bored and they’re at home and they are looking for something to occupy their time and maybe looking, “Once this pandemic’s over, I’m gonna move because I can’t stand this about my house anymore.” I touched on that in Episode 18.
So it has impacted the real estate industry in quite a few different areas. Hopefully, this information will be of use to you or someone that you know as we move forward through the pandemic and things get back to I don’t know if normal will be the word but whatever that is.
That’s it for me guys. Just wanna say thank you for continuing to listen. Please like and share the podcast. You can find me on social media @primeyegre on Twitter or at primeedmontonrealestate on Facebook and Instagram. We’ll talk very very soon.Posted by Jerad Cox on