Real estate agencies seem to concur that buyers should use the lockdown period to find their ideal property, but they disagree about whether sellers should list their homes for sale.
Some believe owners should put their properties on the market regardless while others say they should wait. “It has been a really good buyers’ market for some time in terms of property prices, interest rates and bank lending, and conditions improved with the latest interest rate cut,” says Herschel Jawitz, chief executive of Jawitz Properties.
Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Yael Geffen says: “Every challenging situation has its silver lining, and the coming months might prove to be an even better market, especially for first-time buyers with interest rates recently cut.” She also “strongly advises” sellers against the knee-jerk reaction of taking their properties off the market, saying most people will be stuck at home and have time to browse online. Tony Clarke, managing director Rawson Property Group, agrees:
“There are good reasons to keep your listing active over this time. If your listing is attractive, informative and priced accurately for the current climate, there is every chance you could keep getting inquiries – particularly since there’s likely to be less competition.”
While Greeff’s Mike Greeff also believes sellers will benefit from people having time to browse online, Jawitz recommends owners refrain from listing their homes for sale, unless they are willing to accept what the market will pay in the current climate.
“A buyers’ market determine the value of your property, now more so than ever. Sellers and lessors will have to decide to accept the offer and wait this market out, or at least until the Covid-19 crisis recedes.” Jolene Alterskye of Live Real Estate also believes owners should hold out on listing properties for sale.
“Our recommendation is to wait until further clarity is given on the pandemic and put a plan in place that is realistic. “We foresee a dramatic drop off in property prices with very few active buyers coming into the market at this stage. Any genuine offer would be one worth considering should one need to sell.”
Arnold Maritz, co-principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the southern suburbs, says: “If they’ve found a place to buy, and need to sell to finance the new purchase, they should proceed. If they believe the market will strengthen post Covid-19, it may be better to withdraw for now.”