Shelley Soles ABR®, C.C.S - Certified Condominium Specialist
It's 2020! Welcome to a new decade, filled with new opportunities and relationships. If buying or selling real estate in Calgary is in your plans this year, I hope you'll give me call. I work primarily in Calgary, Cochrane and Airdrie, so if those are areas of interest, I can help!
I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of being a REALTOR® in Calgary and area since 2006 and have built a successful business by helping people like you buy and sell property.
I’m proud to say that over 90% of my business comes from past clients and referrals. These satisfied clients have spread the word about the great service they’ve received from me and my brokerage, Royal LePage Benchmark.
Every one of my clients is unique, and that is exactly how I treat them. I don’t measure my success by sales, but by the relationships I build along the way. My goal is to take the complex process of buying and selling real estate and make it a simple one.
So whether you are thinking about buying, selling or investing, give me a call - I would be happy to meet or talk with you to determine how I can help.
I send out a newsletter at the beginning of every month - providing a summary of the previous month's activity in many segments of the market - along with some fun, interesting activities in Calgary that you and your family may enjoy! If you'd like to receive a copy, please sign up using the link provided on this page.
To find out more details on the current Calgary, Airdrie and Cochrane markets, please check out the CREB Monthly Stats tab as it is updated the beginning of every month. If you'd like a more detailed breakdown of any segment of the market, I can provide more data.
COVID-19 Impacts and the Housing Market Quarterly Report Released - April 27 2020
City of Calgary –
Due to COVID-19 impacts in Calgary’s housing market and general economy, it is not business as usual.
This year was projected to be a time when Calgary would start to see some modest improvements.
“The uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy industry is expected to cause a dramatic decline in housing demand over the second quarter,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“With social distancing expected to soften by the third quarter, the pace of the decline in sales will ease by the third and fourth quarter. However, a turnaround in sales is not expected by the end of the year, as the financial implications for many households will have lingering effects.”
At the same time supply levels are also declining, as social distancing measures are causing some households to delay listing their home during the pandemic. In situations of rising unemployment rates and job loss, we can see rising inventory levels. However, the ability for households to defer their mortgage will help prevent a steeper rise in supply when social distancing measure are relaxed. This will help prevent home prices from collapsing.
However, given the situation in the energy sector, weakness in our economy is expected to persist beyond the immediate impact of COVID-19. On this basis, our housing market is expected to struggle with excess supply and further price declines. On an annual basis, prices in 2020 are expected to decline by nearly three per cent.
If you would like a copy of CREB®’s Q1 2020 Calgary & Region Quarterly Update Report, please get in touch and I'd be happy to send you a copy.
COVID-19 Protocol - 2020
I hope that you and your family are staying safe and keeping well. We are all being affected by the COVID-19 virus, and every day seems to bring new information and updates about how individuals and businesses are coping.
As we manage through these uncertain times, I want to assure you that I am watching the market closely as to how both buyers and sellers react to the COVID-19 situation. While keeping a close eye on the market is important, my top priority is the health and well being of my clients.
REALTORS® are receiving information and updates from our governing bodies, Real Estate Council of Alberta, Canadian Real Estate Association and the Calgary Real Estate Board with guidelines on how best to manage our business during this unprecedented global challenge. Our industry recognizes the need for substantial preventive measures.
I want to share with you how specifically how I am working to keep my clients as safe as possible.
Generally, of course we are abiding by the obvious – social distancing, washing hands frequently, having sanitizer on hand for ourselves and our clients and asking the important questions – are you or any members of your family ill? Have you travelled outside of Canada recently? Have you had close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of the virus?
Certainly sellers in particular have concerns about property showings and people coming into their homes.
I am implementing the following protocol with all my SELLER clients:
Ensuring that moving forward, all my listings have floorplans, video and/or virtual tours, which allow buyers to view listed homes from anywhere.
Suggesting that we put Open Houses on hold for the time being, and instead of making appointments, perhaps scheduling ‘showing hours’ to limit the number of people who visit the property to a predetermined time frame.
When a showing is requested by a REALTOR®, I am instructing them to ensure that neither they nor their clients touch anything in the home, including light switches, doors, cupboards, literally anything and to leave lights on and the home exactly as you found it – and to leave a card so we know they were there.
Providing hand sanitizer and disposable gloves in the foyer of the home, along with a sign encouraging buyers and their realtor to use them as they enter the property.
Ask the REALTOR® to have their clients complete the AHS Self-Assessment Questionnaire prior to the showing. At the very least, this will make buyers aware and possibly think twice about entering if they are higher risk. (Not all will do this, however it may make people think twice about viewing homes.)
Sellers will need to take responsibility as well, by leaving the lights on for all showings, leave all interior doors open, this includes pantry doors, closet doors, doors to the basement etc. Once a showing has been completed, wiping down the exterior door handles. When they return home and the lights are all on and everything is as they left it, there is a better chance that the showing protocol has been followed.
Finally, if the above protocol does not provide enough confidence for the seller, they may wish to withdraw their property from the market for a period of time.
While we are in the beginning stages of the City’s ‘shutdown’, I am still hearing from associates that sellers are selling, which means that buyers are buying! With the low (although fluctuating) interest rates, buyers who are pre-approved, confident and informed, may see the conditions we find ourselves in present a great opportunity.
An important thing to remember is that property is a long term purchase. Experts agree that owning the family home is a great way to ensure long-term financial security, and while markets can dip in the short term, property values will generally increase over the long term.
Fortunately, advances in listing technology make it easier than ever to view and learn about properties online. With detailed descriptions, photos, video tours and floor plans, a buyer can learn a great deal about a property from the comfort of their own living room.
In fact, spending more time at home creates the opportunity for recreational real estate shopping, already an addictive and entertaining pastime for many people
Working with BUYER clients, I am planning to:
Encourage them to scrutinize the listings’ virtual tours and floorplans or do a drive-by before we head out to view a property - they may find something about the home or street that is a no-go for them – and preclude a visit to the home.
Prepare them by explaining the protocol we will be following as we view each home.
Meeting clients at the property, rather than taking them in my vehicle. (Better social distancing!)
REALTORS® can show responsibly under these conditions, and I will continue to do so on behalf of buyers who believe they may have opportunity now, or sellers who cannot wait weeks or months to continue to market their home for sale.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about these protocols, the market or if I can help you navigate your real estate needs at this time.