2021 is expected to be another whirlwind year for the GTA real estate market. With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout underway, there’s optimism that rebounding immigration, low interest rates and a reopened economy will add more fuel to an already hot market. 

The present moment is a promising, yet uncertain time for home buyers and sellers to throw their hat in the ring. The opportunities to capitalize on low interest rates and rising home equity are clear, but buyers and sellers are hindered by virus fears, lockdown restrictions and intense competition in many segments of the market.

Are you planning on making a move, but aren’t sure how to navigate the already stressful process amid a global pandemic? Here are five answers to commonly asked questions about the state of the market and what it means for home buyers and sellers right now.

Is it safe to sell my home during the pandemic?

For the most part, yes, there are many ways to make the process safe for all those involved. Health experts recommend using digital tools such as virtual tours to reduce the number of in-person showings, mandating PPE requirements for all visitors, maintaining regular cleaning schedules, and opting for digital documents in lieu of physical ones.

That said, moving out of your current home before putting it on the market eliminates the risk of exposing your family to the virus through person-to-person contact. Properly, a Canadian tech-enabled real estate brokerage, grants you the freedom to buy your new home first and sell your old home later, skipping the hassle of living through showings. Dashing out the door at the last minute when an appointment is scheduled isn’t always possible when you’re juggling remote work and online learning. Plus, who wants to spend their precious TV-watching time sanitizing door knobs and light switches?

Properly takes care of all the listing legwork — including repairs, cleaning, staging and marketing — while you relax from the comfort and safety of your new home.

Is the market too competitive? 

While inventory for single-family homes is low and prices are heating up accordingly, there are still plenty of opportunities for homeowners to upgrade their digs and take advantage of favourable interest rates. Whether remote work has you planning a move to the ‘burbs or you’re looking to stick close to the downtown core, Properly makes it easy to access your equity before listing and secure financing through the financial institution of your choice.

This early equity access allows you to rise above the competition by submitting an offer on your dream home without any financing conditions attached. Liquid assets indicate that you’re a serious buyer, posing less of a risk that the deal will fall through. As a Properly customer, you also won’t have to fret about lining up your closing dates or covering two mortgage payments, giving you more flexibility and another advantage over competing offers.

Could the pandemic still make the housing market more volatile?

A year into the ‘new normal,’ real estate is one of the bright spots in Canada’s economy. Economists anticipate home buying activity will stay at above-average levels throughout 2021, with interest rates remaining low and virus fears easing as more Canadians are vaccinated.

Surging home values have created favourable conditions for current homeowners seeking an upgrade. Accelerating price appreciation is allowing homeowners to build equity at a faster rate, while record-low interest rates are granting home buyers greater purchasing power. Properly’s team of real estate professionals will ensure that your home fetches the best price on the open market, guaranteed. If, for some reason, the market takes an unexpected turn and stalls the sale of your home, Properly will purchase it from you. Considering the current environment, this is highly unlikely, and the vast majority of homes listed with Properly sell within days thanks to their expert home prep and marketing efforts.

Is it too risky to buy a new home before I sell my old one right now?

Homes are selling at breakneck speed due to ultra-low inventory levels, often attracting multiple offers. According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), detached homes in the GTA went under contract in an average of 20 days in January, compared to 32 days during the same period last year.

Spring is historically one of the busiest seasons for real estate, and more buyers are expected to enter the market as temperatures rise and COVID-19 cases fall. This could heighten competition further in the months to come, causing homes to sell at an even faster pace.

In a seller’s market, where the odds of receiving an offer on your current home are high, the real risk lies in losing out on your dream home. Properly customers have the added benefit of being able to act quickly when they’ve found “the one.” While other prospective buyers are sidelined, waiting for their current home to sell, you’ll have cash on hand to submit an offer the same day.

If I hold off, will my home sell for more money?

While there’s no crystal ball to predict the market’s future, the basic principles of supply and demand give us a sense of what’s to come. Changing lifestyle needs and low interest rates have caused a wave of home buyers to flood the market. But with fewer homeowners willing to list their properties due to the pandemic, supply is extremely limited.

As COVID-19 cases begin to fall, supply is expected to increase. Homeowners, motivated by home value gains and inoculation rates, will feel more confident listing their properties for sale. Timing the real estate market is generally considered a risky proposition but with the end of the pandemic (hopefully) on the horizon, waiting it out may result in lost profits.

Properly’s team of top-rated agents work with their pricing specialists to help you identify the right time to buy and sell. They’ll use a combination of their proprietary AI data modelling and decades of industry experience to ensure that your home is priced competitively and appeals to the right target audience. With Properly’s ProperPrice™ home value report, you’ll also have access to an always up-to-date estimated selling price for your home, along with recent comparable home sales and local market trends.

Ready to start your next move? Visit Properly.ca to get started.

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