Dear David: Have seniors been putting off moving during the pandemic? – SHELTERED SENIOR
DEAR SHELTERED: No matter what their age, real estate buyers and sellers fall into two basic camps: those who need to move, and those who want to.
Many of the folks who didn’t need to move got through the last year and a half by hunkering down and waiting things out. In retrospect, this was a small segment of the market, since local sales remained strong through most of the pandemic.
The one market ripple came and went almost immediately. During the first two months of lockdown (April/May 2020), we saw a drastic reduction in inventory and buyer traffic across the region, though prices continued to rise. When Phase One lockdown measures were lifted in June, sales volumes returned to (then exceeded) normal levels, and that trajectory continued for the next six months. For all intents and purposes, those who needed to move did not let COVID-19 stifle their plans.
Confidence is Increasing
Among seniors, I saw a distinct market shift in late spring and early summer of this year. At that point, many people who had put off plans through the worst of the pandemic were starting to come out of the woodwork. A majority were fully vaccinated and feeling comfortable with the idea of moving, even though they remained cautious. I’m currently seeing a strong spike in interest from seniors who say they’re eager to get on with their lives and don’t want to waste another year sitting on the couch.
Safety Measures in Place
Fortunately, this is a good time to get going. The real estate industry has adapted and can tackle the moving process with a high degree of safety. Today’s showing appointments are shorter than they used to be. Buyer visits can’t overlap with other groups. The number of clients allowed in a house is typically limited to two (plus an agent), and we are kindly asking that kids stay at home. Masks remain mandatory inside homes, and the use of hand sanitizer is encouraged. On top of this, I advise my sellers to leave lights on and closet doors open during showings, to reduce the number of “touch points” inside the home.
As is the case with public spaces, I expect that safety protocols for clients’ homes will remain in place until they are no longer needed. Until that time, client comfort remains my top priority. As an example, open houses have recently been allowed again, but this is a practice I left to my seller’s discretion even before the pandemic.
High vaccination rates in our area have given many people the confidence to return to somewhat normal levels of activity. This should lay the groundwork for an especially robust fall market, as many snowbirds who typically head south have chosen to stay home this winter. #AskDavid #Advice
David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying a home. Moving? Get it right. Ask David today! Call or text 519-577-1212.