Spring is one of the busiest times for the real estate market, but because of COVID-19, the wind was taken out of the sails of the market this year — just as things were picking up.
“We’re trying to limit listings if they’re not necessary,” said Lorraine Clark, president of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors. “We’re trying to hold off, but we can’t tell them not to list the house.”
A ReMax forecast from December 2019 said there was no shortage of buyers that would be looking to get into the Windsor market in 2020.
“The 2020 market looks very optimistic,” the forecast read.
As spring approached, that very much seemed to be the case as houses began showing up on the market, many being greeted by multiple bids.
“Some waited and waited and waited for the spring market to show up, because they knew once the spring market hits, their house will be sold in a matter of days or a week,” real estate broker Goran Todorovic said.
That has changed and Clark said she’s suggesting that people that want to list their houses for sale should only do so if absolutely necessary. But not everybody can wait — even at a time like this.
“There are sellers that need to sell homes, either because of financial reasons, maybe their financial status has changed [or] maybe they’re being transferred,” Todorovic said.
Not business as usual
But for those working to make sales happen, it’s not business as usual.
In most cases, virtual showings have taken the place of visiting open houses on the market.
In-person showings are only being done if absolutely necessary, Todorovic explained.
“When the buyer wants to come into the home … the buyer and the seller and the agents involved have to sign a disclosure,” he said.
We realtors, in my opinion should stay home, tell our clients to stay home, tell the real estate industry, stay home, be safe.– Goran Todovoric, Winsdor Real Estate Broker
“Then we ask the seller to put on all the lights, then we ask them to leave the house. We ask the agent to wear gloves and leave shoes on [and] not to touch anything.”
There hasn’t been any noticeable dip in prices and offers are still coming in on houses.
“There are still a lot of people out there that need to buy something,” Clark said. “We’re still getting multiple bidding wars believe it or not.”
Listings have continued to go up and Todovoric said he has seen some firm and conditional sales go through. Still, he said things have slowed down.
“What I think is happening in the real estate business if you’re asking me is pause, the pause button has been hit,” he said.
Any sellers coming into Todovoric’s office asking to list a property are being asked if it’s essential.
“We realtors, in my opinion, should stay home, tell our clients to stay home, tell the real estate industry to stay home, be safe,” he said.
“There’s no need to put anybody’s life in danger. This is not the time.”
Todovoric said once things open back up, there will be a large amount of pent up energy waiting to reinvigorate the market.
“When this blows over, there’s going to be a lot of buyers waiting to get in to buy homes [and] there’s going to be a lot of sellers,” he said.