CORONAVIRUS AND PROPERTY


Article written and provided by Neil Jenman from Jenman.com.au . To see the original source of this article please click here. https://jenman.com.au/coronavirus-and-property/

How to handle fear.

By Neil Jenman

The most famous words about fear were probably spoken by Franklin Roosevelt during his 1932 inaugural address as US president. America was then in the grip of the worst economic depression in world history. Banks were closing, businesses were collapsing, and millions of people were losing their jobs. Fear ruled supreme. People were frightened to take any positive action in case they got a negative result.

It was fear that President Roosevelt (affectionately known as FDR) believed was making life worse. And so, in his inaugural address, he uttered the immortal words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” FDR believed if he could stem the tide of fear, he could turn the economy around – or, at the very least, stop it getting worse.

All this happened almost 90 years ago.

But today, in 2020, fear is back. With a vengeance. This time it’s not the economy scaring people, it’s a virus called coronavirus that, if worst reports are believed, threatens to kill millions of people worldwide. Perhaps tens or hundreds of millions of people. The worst doomsayers are saying it’s the end of humankind. Of course, on the other end are those who believe this fear “over a few germs that cause a bad cold” is an overblown ‘storm in a teacup’.

Now, granted, if you want to make yourself feel bad or you are prone to negativity, the coronavirus scare will suit you perfectly. All you need to do is look at what’s happening in the country where the virus seems to have started, China. Entire shopping centres are closing. So are office buildings, schools and many places where people gather.

In Australia, the OECD tells us that we will be “one of the worst affected economies” from the coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, another report has a headline that screams “Houses to Hit Record Prices in Weeks”. This is despite the fact that, at a recent auction in Adelaide, two of the people who attended later tested positive to coronavirus which led to the closure of the real estate office.

With such varied opinions – and in the full knowledge that media often ‘hypes’ a story (to attract readers or viewers) – how are we to act if we are selling or buying in today’s real estate market? And what effect, if any, will the coronavirus have on the property market?

Already a well-known Melbourne agent claims the coronavirus has “smashed the top end” because, according to this agent “no one wants to put their home on the market if the Chinese are not buying”.

But the percentage of buyers from China has long been over-estimated in Australia, especially in the day-to-day housing market. Homes will continue to sell well without foreign buyers.

Sure, there may be some negative impact for investors who own apartments that are mainly rented to foreign students. They could be facing some challenges in finding suitable tenants. And yes, those developers who target buyers in Asia may find sales will dwindle. From a buyers’ perspective, however, this is a good thing as many of the apartments sold by developers to overseas buyers are wildly over-priced which means the buyers suffer huge losses when they try to re-sell their apartments.

Less buyers from overseas just means less buyers ripped off from overseas – and with local buyers already being ‘savvy’ to such dodgy developments, it’s quite possible some property developers could be facing challenges. But that won’t bother the ordinary home buyers.

In the general housing market, there probably won’t be an impact on prices – unless the coronavirus escalates severely. People still need to buy homes. Indeed, we Australians see our homes as our sanctuaries. A home is the one place most of us feel safe.

What will – or what should – change, however, are habits. Just as we are now taking sensible precautions in our daily lives, so must we take precautions in our real estate lives.

The one thing that must stop is hordes of strangers wandering through family homes. If you are selling your home, you should now insist that the agent only bring qualified buyers at a pre-determined time. No more free-for-all inspections. No way.

Let’s be clear, masses of ‘open inspections’ have never been the best way to “sell” homes. The reason for open inspections is not to find buyers as much as it is for the agent to find sellers; that’s right, other home-owners in the neighbourhood who are thinking of selling.

It’s amazing just how few sellers realise an obvious point: There are 10,080 minutes in a week. And yet, when you sell your home, your agent suggests you only have your home available for 30 minutes a week. Imagine if you owned a shop – or any business – and you only opened that shop for 30 minutes a week. It’s madness. Repeat: There are 10,080 minutes in a week; do not close your home for 10,050 minutes.

With the coronavirus scare, it’s your chance to tell your agent: “No open inspections. Bring only qualified and identified buyers at appointed times.”

This could be the chance for sellers to discover what the best agents have always known –inspections should always be flexible. Your home should only ever be inspected by genuine buyers and it should be available to inspect at any time that suits the buyers. One of the golden rules of selling is: Make it easy for buyers to buy.

Now, of course, if you are a buyer, you probably won’t want to inspect homes with hordes of other strangers – many of whom may be coughing and sneezing.

If you see a home you like, contact the agent and insist on a private viewing at a time to suit you. If the agent refuses, contact the owners directly (and yes, of course, that’s “legal”).

As to the big question of whether prices will drop because of the coronavirus and should you, therefore, delay your decision, the truthful answer is – no one knows. It’s not likely, but the big point, if you are a home buyer looking for a family home: What does it matter?

If you are buying a home and you can afford the payments on the loan and you intend to live in that home for many years, how will it affect you if, after you buy, your home’s value drops? Other than psychologically, a price drop will make no difference to your enjoyment of your home.

Buyers often ask: When is the right time to buy? The answer to that question, if you are a family home buyer (not an investor) is this: The right time to buy is when you find a home you love that you can afford. Never mind what is happening in the rest of the world. Focus on what is happening in your world. As always, of course, in all aspects – financial and health – your priority should be to stay safe.

When it comes to fear of the coronavirus or the economy, remember the words of Rudyard Kipling who once said, “Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”

Thank you, Neil Jenman.

You can call us on 1800 1800 18 or email support@jenman.com.au

Andrew Millar
Andrew Millar
21:04 09 Aug 20
I have been using Leo & Co to manage my property for about 11 years.In my time, I have found them to be extremely friendly, professional and helpful. Their staff are always attentive and quick to assist.I would strongly recommend Leo and Co for managing your property.Andrew Millar
Hugh York
Hugh York
06:48 24 Dec 19
Karyn Steele
Karyn Steele
04:21 14 Dec 19
Stephen Tulley
Stephen Tulley
00:15 15 Nov 19
I have had my two beloved Brisbane investment properties managed by Leo & Co for 15 years. They continue to surprise me with their diligence and attention to detail. They have a low turn over of staff and high level of corporate knowledge about my investment homes. Highly recommended.
martin wong
martin wong
17:48 20 Aug 19
Tony Muller
Tony Muller
00:05 18 Aug 19
A big thank you to Leo Gurney and his amazing team of super polite and efficient people. From the day we saw our dream home online, to keys in the hand, the whole experience was seamless and hassle free. Communication was prompt , clear and friendly. Everything was explained in a way we could understand, without making us feel inadequate.I would say, a very atypical Real estate experience, in a good way.We came to the process a bit jaded, having had several bidding disappointments and some lackluster performances from other operators.So you could say, we were wary buyers. Leo immediately makes you feel at ease, he exudes competency in his profession, but not in a pushy way.My elderly Mum is about to sell her house, my vote is for Leo to get that job done. You've only got one Mum. Love you Mum.Thank you Leo and Team.
Sean Long
Sean Long
13:00 30 Jul 19
Natalia Sanchez
Natalia Sanchez
02:58 06 Jan 19
love them!. I had a great experience with them, great team, excellent customer services. I absolutely recommend them.
Brendon Mcdade
Brendon Mcdade
08:08 09 Oct 18
Zac Janek
Zac Janek
04:51 19 Jul 18
Mitchell Hunt
Mitchell Hunt
12:30 13 Jun 18
My wife and I where looking for our first home we had the pleasure of dealing with Mark from Leo & Co. He was the most transparent, straight forward easy to deal with real estate agent we had met. He always took my calls, answered my questions and was available after hours. We both enjoyed working with him to get into our first home thanks to him it was a smooth uneventful process.
DR ROADWORTHY
DR ROADWORTHY
07:48 25 Oct 17
Leo & Co are renowned for setting the bar very high, not by being pushy or meeting targets but they a consultative and approach every opportunity with Ethics, Care and above all you're best interests at heart.
Nicholas Gatfield
Nicholas Gatfield
06:17 20 Oct 17
jen vaughn
jen vaughn
09:19 15 Jun 17
The rental team are fantastic, so much better than previous rental agents.All maintenance is done in a timely manner and everyone is so professional. Such a refreshing change to other Realestate's who don't seem to care.thanks again for making this rental a great experience!
Debbie Hodges
Debbie Hodges
03:44 12 Apr 16
I would like to sincerely thank the guys at Leo Gurney Real Estate for helping me with the selling of my house & advice on purchase of next property.I chose Leo Gurney real Estate over other real estate agencies even one where I knew & trusted one of the agents, because I was told by mark that they would give me help for whatever I needed ie yard clean ups painting whatever.As I was a single mum this was the major deciding factor in my decision to go with them & true to his word they (Mark, Cory & Phil) did help with painting & taking several loads to the dump, plus Mark also helped by giving me advice on prices when I was looking for my next property which made the process much less stressful as I knew I wouldn’t be overpaying for a property.Mark also was wonderful on moving day when an unfortunate situation came up, because of a misunderstanding. He came straight over to smooth things out with the new owner & stayed to help tidy up.I would highly recommend your agency esp Mark to anyone looking to sell their property.Thank you very muchDebbie Hodges
Christine Burgin
Christine Burgin
05:17 11 Jan 16
As a third time customer of Leo Gurney Real Estate, I am in a good position to recommend this team. We originally chose Leo Gurney because the company is Jenman approved, but we stayed with them for many reasons. When you sign on to a Leo Gurney sale of your property, you sign on to a team effort. This great team work benefits the client immeasurably. Although the selling of two investment properties was smooth and relatively effortless for us, when it came to selling our family home recently, it was very emotional. The team understood this. I was never made to feel silly or unreasonable. There are so many aspects that make a Leo Gurney property sale superior, but one that stands out for me is the "no open house" policy. This means extra work for the Gurney team, but for me as a person who values privacy highly, this meant that only genuine buyers saw through the house. Leo and Danny and the team's long experience efficiently "filters" the people to be allowed into your house. I'd like to conclude by saying a big "Thank You" to all the team at Leo Gurney Real Estate. See you for our next sale/purchase Leo!Describe your experience
James Cheers
James Cheers
06:55 03 Jun 15
We bought our house through Leo Gurney and had such a good impression that after interviewing several other more local agents decided to give his office a call. He was the only agent that honestly appraised the good and bad aspects of our property and who our most likely buyer would be. He already had a number of prospective buyers he had in mind. He also confirmed our thoughts that a DA through council would be a good thing to have to make our property more saleable to a developer (it was a splitter block with a character listed house on it). And was instrumental in guiding us to the most cost effective renovations to undertake to again increase our buyer base. He was spot on.As a Jenman Real estate agent, I was content with the knowledge that his appraisal of current market value was backed up by a contract clause that stated we didnt have to pay commission if the price was not reached (no lying to us to get the contract then working on us to get the price down...like all the other agents!), that advertising fees were a cost shouldered by their business and that time wasting, intrusive open houses were not required..our house would be shown only to pre-vetted prospective buyers and not just nosy neighbours and DIYers! He surpassed our original appraisal and kept in contact throughout the whole process...it was a painfree experience all round and I thoroughly and wholeheartedly recommend this company. Oh yes, I also liked that all the agents work towards selling your property and dont compete against each other. This testimonial is rather overdue, my apologies to Leo and Co.
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