Knowing the best time to sell your house is challenging at the best of times, but during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s even trickier.
“Forget any crystal ball you’ve got, they’re all broken,” Toronto real estate broker Brendan Powell says.
Powell says he advises clients to deal with their current reality.
“The idea of trying to time the market right now is about as dangerous as it can be because you could be totally wrong. And nobody really knows,” Powell warns.
Right now the housing market is on the upswing after a freefall that was mainly due to the lack of inventory, according to several realtors from across Ontario.
“Sales are down, it’s simply because people aren’t listing the houses,” Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors president Colleen Koehler says. “If they were listed, we would be in a totally different ballgame.”
Kingston, Ont., realtor Matt Lee says there were about five houses a day coming to market in April, whereas they would normally see about 40 to 50 new listings daily.
In May, he has seen 20 to 30 listings per day.
“So we’re not normal, but we’re not as slow as April was,” Lee says.
But it takes two to tango and Waterloo region realtor Tony Johal says that it is not just sellers who are returning to the market.
“We have definitely found that buyer confidence has returned,” he says.
Koehler says she recently helped clients make an offer on a home in Kitchener, Ont., that had 26 competing offers.
“We’re still in a market where demand is still outpacing supply,” she says. “People still want to buy.”
Powell says he advises realtors not to tell their clients when the market may peak, especially in the current climate.
“We’re not predicting anything because nobody knows,” he says. “And if anybody tells you they know they probably don’t know either.”
Johal says buyers are also asking when the best time is to buy, but that’s the wrong question.
“They should always be asking, is now the right time in my life to buy?”
Johal says potential buyers should consider several factors before they enter the market, including job stability and whether your family is expanding or contracting.
“Once everything else lines up on that side, the market’s always going to be there,” he says “It’s always going to be doing its thing.”