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By Kathy Schmidt, Broker Owner of Schmidt Realty Group Inc.

More than ever, where we live matters! Let’s face it, we’re all spending more time at home these days, and that’s likely to continue for awhile.  If you’re not loving where you live, why not change it?  If you’re curious about what it might look like to go house hunting during Covid-19, keep reading 😊

When we work with you as a home buyer, one of our biggest responsibilities is to help you focus in on what matters most to you, and to do that within your budget.  One of the ways we do that is with our BIG DAY OUT!  What’s that?  Typically on a Saturday or Sunday, we take you out to explore a buffet of choices so you can have a taste of a lot of different options.  For instance, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance property and you love to garden, we might look at a townhouse condominium where you’ve got a fenced yard with lots of room for your dream veggie plot.  We might also look at an apartment style condo where you’ve got a big south-facing balcony or even a loft style property with no balcony or deck, but where there’s a shared community garden nearby.  In different times, we’d look at all these options together in person, but during Covid-19 it’s smarter (and safer) to do more looking online to narrow down the few options that are really worth you investing in an IRL (In Real Life) viewing.  How do we do this? By Zooming in!

The BIG ZOOM IN involves setting up a Zoom meeting to accomplish all of that without you needing to leave home!  Here’s what you can expect on a BIG ZOOM IN!

  • You’ll fill us in on your situation, and you can find out a bit about us as well!
  • You’ll get educated you on the steps involved in buying a home in Alberta right now and empowered to make a safe, smart purchase … even during Covid19!
  • You’ll get your questions answered!
  • You’ll design your own custom search, screen-sharing with your agent to see the “behind the scenes” REALTOR® search software. Then you can decide which few homes are worth visiting IRL (In Real Life). Working with your agent, you’ll explore various neighbourhoods and price ranges and property types, slowly narrowing down the neighbourhoods and properties that will best fit your ideal lifestyle.  Your REALTOR® will be invaluable pointing out the pros and cons of the various options and making suggestions that you may not even have considered!
  • How long will this take? As much or as little time as you’d like!  Typically we find that the initial conversation takes about half an hour. Creating the custom home search and Zooming in your priority picks takes about an hour or so.
  • Next, you’ll book a time with your agent to see our priority picks, and you’ll discuss how you’ll proceed so that you feel completely comfortable and safe every step of the way.

The good news is you can do all this from the comfort of your home, in your yoga pants, with a beverage!  One recent success story involved a meeting just like this, complete with meeting each other’s dogs! First, we considered all the options for neighbourhood and property type. Then we eliminated homes based on price. And finally we narrowed down the choices to 3 “good fit” properties. After viewing them all and getting some further information from the seller, our buyer was able to make a clear choice and proceed to a successful purchase!  While it doesn’t always happen that quickly, it certainly can when there’s a good number of homes on the market like we have today. And if what you want/need isn’t on the market right now, it’s easy to Zoom back onto MLS with your agent and look at the new listings as they come up!

By the way, you might wonder what’s happening with home inspections and appraisals right now.  While challenging and tragic in so many ways, Covid-19 is also pushing so many industries to innovate and adapt.  When it comes to inspections for instance, most inspectors prefer to enter the property on their own, without buyers or sellers or agents present. With the sellers’ permission, the agent will let them into the property and remain on-site in their car or in one room of the house, while the inspector proceeds. Most inspectors take a lot of photos and prepare a formal written report, which they will then provide you to as the purchaser. They may be willing to chat with you outside the property (ensuring physical distancing protocols are followed) or they’ll arrange a phone call or Facetime/Duo call to answer your questions.  Appraisers are increasingly doing virtual appraisals, where they do a “drive-by” of the home and then have the homeowner take them on a video tour on Facetime or Duo. There’s also an online appraisal system called EMILY which is extremely helpful.

What’s most important is everyone’s safety.  It’s also important to love where you live, especially now when you’re likely spending much more time at home. The good news is there is a way to keep moving forward and stay safe.

Got questions?  Please reach out anytime!  Text us at 587-776-3261 or email

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