Should I list during lockdown?


Dear David,

We’ve heard that real estate is an essential service. If we planned on moving this year, should we get our house on the market now? What is the market is going to do? – ANXIOUS

DEAR ANXIOUS: While real estate services have been deemed essential, it is not business as usual for Realtors. As an industry, we are recommending that you only buy or sell right now if there is an urgent need to do so (for example, if you’ve already sold your current home or have purchased a new one). If this is not the case for you, we recommend you wait until some level of normalcy has returned to our current environment.

Even if your plans are delayed, you can start preparing now. Many people have an abundance of free time these days and can use it to their advantage. This is a unique opportunity to do some major decluttering, yard work, and generally get your house ready to go – all the things you would likely have to scramble to fit into your busy schedule under normal circumstances.

I am always amazed to see that people can prepare their home for showings in two or three days once they’ve found a new house and are under the gun to sell their current one. With all this extra time, you’ll be able to work the same magic, but at a reasonable pace. It will be like studying leisurely for a final exam, rather than having to cram.

As for the market, I don’t have a crystal ball, but do expect we’ll see a drop in the volume of listings until things get back to normal. This crisis is bound to force some people to defer their moving plans, at least over the short term. But buyers and sellers will likely step back in fairly even numbers, which means property values should maintain. I expect the market will recover nicely.

PRO TIP: Making predictions is like picking stocks or forecasting the weather – people tend to be right half the time. I watch the market daily for clues and know from experience that Waterloo Region has been blessed with a wonderfully resilient economy. When I worked through the 2008-2009 downturn, our local real estate statistics recovered before the auto makers went back to work. As a region, we emerged faster and in better shape than most of North America. #AskDavid #Advice