Earlier this year, with the statistics forecasting our best year yet, no one could have imagined the impact of COVID-19 on the Saskatoon real estate market. Self-isolation and social distancing were things we had never even dreamed of and they quickly became our reality without much warning. Soon after, the market slowed dramatically, leaving both buyers and sellers worried what the future would hold.
Luckily, though, the warmer weather brought with it a sunnier outlook, and as recoveries continue to rise, so do sales. This means, if you’ve been toying with the idea of selling your home in 2020, this summer is a fantastic time to do so—and here’s why:
#1 – Awesomely Low Interest Rates
With the current economic climate in the state that it is due to COVID-19, the current interest rates for mortgages are at a record low—some even reported to be as low as 1.99% on a 5-year fixed term! Because of these low interest rates, more home buyers are entering the market equipped with more buying power than they previously could have afforded. So, if you were to list your home today, there would be more potentially interested buyers to sell to—so you could kiss those worries of never-ending relists goodbye!
#2 – Fewer Listings, Less Competition
Saskatoon, as of today, is in what we’d call a seller’s market. While more and more buyers are flocking to the market with the low interest rates, the same is not being said for new listings. This lack of inventory in the Saskatoon market means those listings that do exist are getting more action than ever before, with quite a few of them pulling in competing offers. As a seller putting your home on the market today, you can expect to see more urgency from buyers and a shorter listing period. And why not turn your dreams of a new home into a reality much quicker!
#3 – You Have A Clearer Idea of Your Wants & Needs
After months of social distancing and staying home to stay safe, I can almost guarantee that you have gotten pretty familiar with your current home. More specifically, I’d say you’ve gotten pretty familiar with what it’s missing for you and your family. This means that you’ll have a clearer idea of what you’ll be looking for in your new property, helping to narrow down your choices to make finding your dream home simpler and less like digging through the clearance rack to find a gem!
#4 – No School Means Easier Moves
Summer is traditionally one of the best times for families to move, with kids out of school and summer vacation times more readily available. Not only will you have the extra free hands to help carry the boxes, but you also won’t have to worry about disrupting their learning process or moving them out of the school district before the year is through! Plus, a move earlier in the season gives them plenty of time to explore and fall in love with your new home just as much as you have!
#5 – Summer is the Best Time for Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is the first impression that buyers get of a home. And in the winter, when everything is coated in a blanket of wet and white, it’s hard for them to get an accurate read of what the curb appeal actually is. The trees are bare, the garden is covered, and they have no idea if there’s any grass under there at all.
In the summer, though, nature is in bloom, the weather is warm, and your home can truly be seen in its best light (mostly because there is still light after buyers get off work). This helps to reinforce a buyer’s impression of the house, giving them another determining factor to help them make their decision, rather than leaving them in the mysteries of the unknown.
With plenty of buyers on the market, eager to get out and get moving while the water’s warm, summer 2020 is really shaping out to be a great time to be a seller. And if you’ve been questioning whether or not to get started, take this as your sign from the heavens—your time is now. And I can help! Contact me to get your free custom market evaluation today and let’s get started!
In the season of social distancing and staying at home, COVID-19 has impacted our economy harder than I believe any of us could have ever imagined. Stocks plummeted, gas prices reminded me of my teenage years, and travel is quickly becoming more and more of a distant memory. On the other hand, though, sports and fitness companies have seen more activity than ever and toilet paper has officially become a new currency!
With so many parts of the economy impacted in vastly different ways, it’s hard to know how every market is doing. So it only makes sense that one of the most common questions I’m getting right now is about how real estate has fared throughout all of this. And, let me tell you, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster.
COVID-19’s Impact on Saskatchewan Real Estate
While many markets across the globe have seen a drastic decrease—some even shutting down entirely—the Saskatchewan real estate market has proved remarkably more resilient. True, we did see an initial decrease in activity in the preliminary phases of the provincial shutdown, but with the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan now officially underway, the numbers continue to improve daily.
Part of Saskatchewan’s real estate resilience came particularly from the strongest start to the spring market we’ve seen in years. The March market started off with a “BOOM”, with new listings and sales busier than they have been in a long time, leading to a 7% increase in the market. Then…there was coronavirus, which slowed everything to a crawl with all the uncertainty it brought.
While the first couple weeks of pandemic pandemonium did cause about a 46% overall decrease in April, the trend did not last for too long. As restrictions slowly began easing, so did people’s wariness to continue their home search, and in the latter weeks of April we started to see the numbers going up—a trend we’re continuing to see as we move into May!
COVID-19 & Saskatoon’s Real Estate Market
While the province as a whole saw an overall decrease of about 46%, Saskatoon’s real estate market fared slightly better. In April, listings only saw a decrease of about 36%, while sales were down 34%—and both numbers continue to improve as the province continues to ease restrictions.
I believe this largely has to do with the fantastic and extensive precautions our Saskatoon REALTORS® have been doing to keep our clients safe throughout the real estate process.
How We Keep Saskatoon Real Estate Safe During COVID-19
With the privilege of being deemed an essential service since the beginning, we REALTORS® knew we had to do as much as we could to ensure we could still serve our clients to the best of our ability in the safest ways possible. Here are just some of the ways I’ve been able to pivot to provide safe real estate throughout the coronavirus pandemic so far:
Virtual Consultations allow me to still chat with you about your real estate needs and help you best define how we should move forward to achieve them.
Email Listings make it easy for me to share new listings with you as they come to market, so you never miss an opportunity, even when you may be self-isolating.
Virtual Tours & Live Open Houses are the newest ways we can show buyers your listings without them even having to set foot in your home. We can give them the opportunity to take a socially-distant tour around the house first to decide just how serious they are before requesting an in-person visit, limiting the foot traffic in your living space.
Waivers for Both Buyers and Sellers helps us to screen both parties invested in a viewing to ensure compliance with all isolation measures in place, helping to stop the spread.
Electronic Offers, Signatures, and Contracts give you the opportunity to take care of all the essential paperwork right from the comfort of your own couch!
Flexibility in Communication. I am here for you throughout your real estate journey, physically distant or not. That’s why you can always reach me by phone, email, or text, whichever is most convenient for you!
With the market now on an upswing and getting busier by the day, it seems the impact of the coronavirus on Saskatoon real estate is dwindling. Which means that if you’ve been thinking of buying or selling a house this year, now might just be the time to do it! Contact me today and let’s get started on reaching your real estate goals sooner.
When selling your home, the goal is to make it look its best to make a fantastic first impression on potential buyers, similar to getting dressed up for a blind date. And, just like a blind date, that pressure to impress can easily have us feeling self-conscious about each and every detail, wondering exactly what we need to do to get everything in tip top shape.
If you’re selling your home and find yourself similarly self-conscious and stressed, here’s a handy checklist to keep you confident that you’ve done all you can before every showing.
#1 – Start Outside & Boost Your Curb Appeal
While it’s easy to become fixating on cleaning up all the clutter indoors, it’s important to remember that the very first impression being made on potential buyers is happening before they even cross the threshold. It happens the moment they pull up in front of a property and glance around, not just at the home itself, but the yard and surrounding area, too.
To give the best first impression, make sure to cut the grass and rake away any leaves or debris. If it’s winter, shovel and make sure to drop some salt to prevent any slippery situations. And don’t forget to pick up after your pets.
#2 – Declutter the Home & Mind
Whether you consciously notice it or not, clutter can cause us to feel stressed and that’s the last feeling you want to invoke on a potential buyer! To reduce that unconscious overwhelmed feeling, take a moment to tidy up.
Make sure shoes are all paired and upright
Hang up coats and loose clothes, and have all the hangers facing the same way
Tuck away mail and loose papers
Put toys in their place
Fold all the laundry
#3 – Clean the Kitchen, Sell the House
A number of studies have been done about the importance of various selling features on homes. Time and time again, kitchens have always ranked at the top, and should never be neglected when staging a house for sale. To make sure your top selling feature is looking good enough to eat in, clear off the counter and table tops and wipe them down thoroughly. And while you have that damp cloth out, don’t forget to scrub the cupboards and appliances, too!
#4 – Make the Bathroom Sparkle
The kitchen may be the number one selling feature in a home, but bathrooms are without a doubt the next on the “must-have” list when buying a house. Just as you did in the kitchen, make sure to wipe down the counters and don’t forget about the mirror and faucets. Give all the fixtures—tub, sink, and toilet—a good scrub, as well, and be sure to really get in the grooves where scum and mould can accumulate. And when everything is sparkling and shining, finish off the look with nice, clean towels folded neatly.
#5 – Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold; Make the Temperature Just Right
In the throes of a Saskatoon winter, we’re all looking to come in from the cold, and we’re more likely to linger a little longer when we’re toasty warm. And in the summer, a little cool oasis from the heat could be just the relief we need! To give potential buyers that sense of comfort that entices them to stay and look around, adjust the temperature about an hour or two before they are set to arrive!
#6 – Eliminate Odours
When we’ve been in our home for so long, we become immune to our own “scent”. In order to ensure we’re addressing every smell home buyers might not enjoy, have an unbiased third party take a whiff of your home. And if they come across any unpleasant fragrances, make sure to clean them properly, rather than just spraying some air fresheners around the room. A good wipe down of the walls and proper carpet cleaning should never be skipped!
Other Secrets to Staging Your Home to Sell
Organize Closets. While our typical houseguests might not snoop through the closets, you can expect that buyers will be taking a look to see how much storage space they will have.
Make the Beds. No, your king-sized pillow-top might not be included, but keeping it tidy and presentable will make it easier for buyers to envision themselves and their own bed in the room.
Depersonalize. Again, our goal is to get the buyer to envision themself in the space and that can be hard to do with family photos and finger paintings around that make them feel as though they are in someone else’s home.
Add a Fresh Coat of Paint. If you have time, a fresh coat of paint to cover up any scuffs or wear and tear can make a big difference. If you are changing the colour, though, keep it neutral.
Clear Off the Honey-Do List. If you’ve been putting off the simple weekend projects and repairs, now’s the time to get them done. No one wants to inherit a honey-do list from anyone but their honey.
Don’t Forget to Look Up. Without looking up, we often forget about our own ceilings. Be sure to dust them off and wipe down the tops of fans in case they turn any on.
Let in the Light. Buyers can’t fall in love with what they can’t see! Turn on the lights and open up the curtains before you leave.
Getting your home ready for a viewing is an essential step in setting the mood so potential buyers can fall in love. Give yourself the time to tidy up and set the stage and show them what they could have if they move on in, and make selling your home a cinch!