The real estate market in Lacombe remains open for business through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The phones are ringing and we are still doing business as usual. The government did deem us an essential service,” Lacombe Re/max Realtor Lori Hellofs said.
To accommodate public health orders, agents are not holding open houses and when sellers do show their homes — agents are wearing gloves, not travelling with their clients, asking sellers to leave the lights on and open the closets so they don’t have to touch anything and they are instructing the sellers to sanitize the houses after after they have leave.
Hellofs said they currently aren’t as busy as usual, but she did see some sales recently.
“Bottom line, if you have sold your house and possession is April 30 — you have to be out looking for a home. There are people moving and they have to get their houses sold, so we are being very cautious and aware of the situation which is really serious,” she said.
Hellofs said there hasn’t been any projections released on how the pandemic will affect the housing market long-term.
“We have been in a buyers market for quite awhile now as everyone knows here in Alberta. It is dependent on the sellers motivation and whether they have to get going. Prices will be down but in the last month — we have had some multiple offer situations,” she said.
Hellofs said they have been screening buyers health to ensure everyone’s safety throughout the process.
“We are definitely screening buyers, asking them if they have travelled in the last 14 days, if they are feeling sick, if they have symptoms or if they have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19,” she said. “If there is a yes to any of those questions, than we are not showing them houses.”
Hellofs said she, and most agents, are now also working from home to reduce contact with others.
“We do have our support staff person at the office answering phones, but our office doors are locked and it is by appointment only,” she said.
Hellofs said her and every realtor in town is here to support the community through these times.
“I would like to thank the whole community, Alberta Health Services, all our frontline workers, our grocery stores, our gas stations, our liquor stores and our restaurants,” she said. “I think Lacombe really needs to salute these businesses in town that have made changes and alterations to their businesses to try to service.
“I hope everyone remembers that when this is over. Get out and support local.”