How Sellers Can Minimize Covid Risk and Still Come Out Ahead

As Alberta’s active Covid-19 cases set new records, I’m fielding lots of questions from sellers as they consider entering the market. 

Once they understand that real estate is still considered an essential service, they want to know if it’s still a good time to list and if they do, how they can protect themselves against Covid-19. First, let’s talk about Covid and real estate.

Minimizing your risk against Covid-19 exposure

Before listing your home, you need to assess your current situation for yourself and your family in order to understand your personal risk tolerance when it comes to Covid-19. 

Have you already been vaccinated? Is someone in your household at greater risk for catching Covid? At the end of the day, potential buyers may not know whether they’ve been exposed to the virus at the time of a showing. Can you live with that?

Once you understand what your concerns are and the level of risk you can tolerate, you and your REALTOR® can make a plan to minimize your chance of exposure to Covid-19. This can involve everything from screening potential buyers to negotiating viewing conditions (like being masked and using hand sanitizers) to performing extra cleaning measures before and after showings.

Remember, as a seller, you are not obligated to do anything you are not comfortable doing. Check out my Covid-19 resource center for more.

Should you list, even though cases are rising?

Really, this is a personal decision as to whether you believe now is the right time to put your property on the market. What I can tell you is that for many segments of the market, we’re seeing intense demand, especially in the under $600,000 detached category. 

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) recently released their Q1 Housing Statistics Report. Here’s a quick run-down:

Detached – your time to cash in?

This segment saw intense activity with the new benchmark price for detached homes rising to $503,900 (up 5.29% year over year). It only confirms what I’ve seen play out in the market: pent-up demand in the detached segment and low supply is driving price gains across all districts in the lower and upper price ranges. Factor in the historically low-interest rates and the desire for more space on the part of buyers, and you have an incredible demand for detached homes.

Semi-detached – looking good

With less than 2 months of inventory supply, the benchmark price in the semi-detached market now sits at $400,167 (up 3.47% year over year). Lots of buyers who were shut out of the lower-priced detached market are turning to a semi-detached in order to buy a home. 

Row – balanced with price gains

The row housing market saw a return to more balanced conditions between supply and demand, with some modest price gains in Q1. The current benchmark price is now $284,800 (up 1.52% year over year). While there isn’t the fierce demand of the other segments, there are still decent deals to be made.

Apartment – still in recovery

I’d be lying if I didn’t say the apartment segment is still facing major challenges. While CREB® reported a modest benchmark price gain to $247,167 (up 1.15% year over year), prices remain 18% below previous highs from 2014. With more than 5 months of supply (which is actually an improvement!?!), it’s still tough out there. 

Honestly, unless you absolutely have to sell your apartment, I’d hang on as long as I could. And if you are planning on selling, manage your expectations on price because there’s still a lot of inventory and not much demand. This segment has a long way to go in order to recover from historic lows.

As always, if you have any questions about the Calgary housing market and how your segment is performing, I’m happy to have the conversion.

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.