5 Tips for Navigating Victoria’s Real Estate Market During COVID-19
Are you considering making a move in Victoria’s Real Estate market during COVID-19?
Chances are you’re not alone. While the market has certainly shifted away from traditional Spring markets of year’s past, homes continue to come on the market, just as select Buyers continue to actively search for and secure the right properties.
These are unprecedented times in the world. COVID-19 has changed how we live, communicate, work, and more. It’s also changed how select industries and essential services, including Real Estate, conduct business around the world.
Whatever your reason for moving, it’s important consumers and Realtors alike stay informed of the latest safety measures and changes to standard protocols.
If now is the time that a move is right for you, here are 5 essential tips for navigating Victoria’s Real Estate market during COVID-19 and beyond.
Tip #1: Follow the recommendations of your local municipal or provincial health authority.
Why this is important: The health and safety of consumers comes first. While it is not “business as usual” during this time, it’s important all parties stay informed of the latest protocols in place so that consumers and Realtors working to find a home can do so in a safe manner.
Consumers should consider reviewing:
- RECBC’s Real Estate consumer hub
- BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 portal
- BC Government’s Provincial Support and Info page
Tip #2: Take advantage of live stream open houses.
Why this is important: BCREA has put an end to open houses during COVID-19. In their place, Realtors now have the option to host live stream open houses. These are scheduled just like traditional open houses, except users will tune in from afar as the host Realtor tours viewers through the home in real-time.
Need to know info regarding live stream open houses in Victoria:
- For a list of all scheduled virtual opens in Victoria, click here
- The most common apps used include Zoom, Facebook, & Instagram
- The average live stream open house runs for 30 minutes
- Viewers will have a chance to interact with the host Realtor
- When searching on sites like Realtor.ca, look for the blue “next live stream” icon above the address. See the box in red below:
Tip #3: If you can’t attend a live open house, there are other great options to view homes from afar.
Why this is important: For the safety of residents and tenants, some (but not all) properties aren’t viewable in person. Consumers working with a Realtor gain access to property photos, detailed floor plans, and best of all, 3D virtual tours of a home’s interior. To view a 3D Matterport Tour of a Duttons listing, click here.
These resources are helpful because they allow consumers to:
- “tour” an occupied property before viewing it in person
- “tour” a property safely from the comfort of their own home
- get a more detailed idea of what a home and its layout offer
Tip #4: Understand your purchasing power before you start viewing homes.
Why this is important: Having a clear snapshot of your financial position and what you can afford may seem like an obvious recommendation, but it’s one that’s commonly overlooked. Once a diligent Buyer knows exactly where they stand, they can then make informed decisions about which properties to pursue.
Consumers should consider:
- first and foremost, speaking with a Mortgage Broker
- the impact of any changes to their employment status
- browsing current lending rates (for 5-year fixed rates in BC, click here)
Tip #5: Enlist the help of a Realtor to guide you through your home purchase.
Why this is important: Buying a home is a big decision! Now more than ever, it’s crucial that Buyers have a Realtor by their side to guide them through the entire process from start to finish. Plus, in most but not all cases, enlisting the help of a Realtor for a home purchase comes at no cost to you.
A Realtor can help you to:
- navigate your purchase from the start through completion
- better understand the ever-changing Victoria housing market during COVID-19
- follow the new safety protocols and best practices that are in place
- connect you with trusted professionals throughout your purchase
Staying informed as a consumer is crucial when it comes to purchasing a home in Victoria, especially during uncertain times. One of the best ways to stay informed is to enlist the help of a Realtor that takes a vested interest in you and your success.
Ready to find your new home?