It's important for our team to provide communication not only to our clients, but consumers wondering how this virus effects and shapes the world as new measures and changes come through.
Presently our team is working with buyers and sellers throughout the city, however, we have had clients postpone showings and viewings on homes for the interim until more clarity on the outlook of this pandemic is certain.
Our team has taken the efforts and steps to help provide clarity online through social media to educate buyers and sellers of precautions for showings whether you're a buyer, seller, or buyers agent and have updated our showing instructions to reflect these new measures in hopes that responsibility within the industry will allow consumers to continue to purchase and sell real estate in a safer manner.
Here are a few quick links for some of the topics we're covering that are included on this blog:
You presently have a scheduled possession coming up, what should you expect?
You might find yourself in a position where you are scheduled to be taking possession of a property in the near future, we have spoken directly with Alberta land titles and as of the date this blog was published, there have been no official or announced plans for having the office completely shut down. The land titles office is officially closed off to the public though, but operations are still in effect until we hear otherwise.
Another potential roadblock that we've seen is that some law offices are said to be closing down during this epidemic, this is something you should discuss with your agent to ensure that your legal representation will be able to adequately represent you and your interests for the closing process of your new purchase and how to make alternative arrangements with another office if necessary.
We're also taking this opportunity to inform clients about title insurance which provides coverage and protects both the buyers and the lenders interests against any losses that may potentially occur in respect to your new properties ownership or title. In Alberta we're under the Torrens system but title insurance will protect you against certain things including errors in surveys or public records, existing liens (including unpaid items such as property taxes, or unpaid utilities, or fraudulent real estate transactions)
You presently have your home listed and active on the real estate market, what should you expect?
Home owners should follow these protocols when listing their home and taking on public showings.
• If someone in the family isn’t feeling well, cancel all showings & inform agent
• Leave spaces open that buyers would want to see (closets doors, drawers, etc) - Avoid having buyers needing to touch anything in your home, having open areas, doors, etc
• Leave a note to request buyers to wash hands in the bathrooms upon arrival
• Keep all lights on & open up blinds/curtains
• Make sanitizer available at the entry
•Wipe down all surfaces after showings
We have noticed that working with hundreds of buyers as a large real estate team, the more serious and active buyers are the ones still on the hunt for their dream homes, this means that the more casual viewers are less likely to be in the market presently, and if your home is obtaining showing requests means your home is more likely to be seeing more qualified buyers coming through.
Please note though, if you are not comfortable showing your home, don't do it, plain and simple!
You are a home buyer and you still wanting to look at homes with your agent, what should you expect?
Home buyers should follow these safety protocols when viewing homes
• Take your own car to all showings
• Remove your shoes during showings - You should do this for showings typically :)
• Bring hand sanitizer and disinfect hands after every showing
• Do not touch any surfaces in homes
• If you are not feeling well - stay home do not attend any showings or open houses
• We HIGHLY recommend limiting your viewing party as much as possible (including kids) - Focus on the home, not the maintenance of worrying about where your kids are, what they're touching, etc if possible.
Our team has also been able to offer our clients a virtual viewing solution, our clients safety and the safety of others is of the utmost importance and if you're not comfortable viewing homes in person, our team has solutions in place to ensure you can still see a home from the comfort of your own home.
What are some current Mortgage deferral options that you can potentially utilize
There are many nuances in this situation and while we simply cannot cover every scenario, we do advise clients with mortgages who may not be able to make payments to reach out directly to their lender as soon as possible. We can confirm that lenders are willing to help those who are struggling though and some clients are able to defer payments for up to 6 months. We highly recommend that you are proactive in these times, allowing payments to be missed could adversely affect your credit, and bear in mind there are a lot of Canadians in similar situations so do expect longer than usual wait times when calling into your lenders.
Some options we've seen that could be applicable to you ->
Temporary or short term deferrals of your payments
Extension of the amortization of your mortgage
Special arrangements that would be unique to your situation due to Government imposed work stoppages that Covid-19 may have caused.
Putting missed payments onto other payments to spread them out
Please note, we are not licensed to trade or advise on mortgages and this information is purely a guideline and resource to help you understand some options that may be applicable to you, for more information and to obtain actual information from a mortgage agent, please see our next portion of the blog!
Mortgage Lender Contact Numbers and how to contact one of our key mortgage partners for further advice and consultation
One of our top mortgage partners that our clients routinely choose is Renee Huse with Spire Mortgages - Renee lives, eats, and breathes mortgages and we highly recommend that any of our clients and readers reach out to Renee for professional mortgage advice.
Here is a database of Mortgage lender hotline phone numbers that we've compiled for you. Reach out to them to discuss any changes you need to make on your current mortgages.
B2B 1 800 263 8349
Connect First 403-736-4000
Chinook Financial 403-934-3358
First Calgary Financial 403-736-4000
First National 1-888-488-0794
Home Trust 1-855-270-3630
Street Capital 1-866-683-8090
Please note, this blog should not be considered as legal or professional advice, while we do ensure the accuracy of out content, in these times of rapid changes and evolving protocols, we are actively advising our clients to contact an agent directly for the most accurate and up to date real estate information.