Covid 19 and the real estate market – what happens now?

27 April 2020

The Covid19 pandemic and the various measures to try to contain it, have impacted every one of us in various ways – and our real estate industry is no different. We are almost at the end of a strict 5 week lockdown period, and government has announced a phased approach to easing the lockdown in stages and at various levels (level 1 to 5), with an easing of restrictions from level 5 to level 4 as from the 1st of May 2020.



The short answer is nobody knows yet. Depending on the severity of the economic impact, there are various possible scenarios and it is almost impossible to predict right now what property prices will do in the coming months.
The only data we have to go on at this stage is past sales (pre-lockdown) when the market was still active. For the past month during lockdown property sales have understandably slowed down almost to a standstill, but we are sure that sales will start happening again as we ease out of the lockdown, as there will always be people that need to sell, for whatever reason, and buyers that need to buy. Once sales activity starts picking up again, there will be fresh data on which to base market predictions.

Obviously our marketing methods and client interactions will change considerably, as is detailed below.


Despite current circumstances, you might find yourself in a position where you still need to sell your property, maybe because you are relocating for a job, in need of more or less space, or facing new financial circumstances that require a move.
Even though our lives have been impacted tremendously, there will always be a demand to buy, sell, and rent properties.
The methods we will use to sell a home will just look different than you were used to:

Enter the tech-savvy agent…

Through leveraging technology, we will interact with sellers and potential buyers on various levels.

  1. Property valuation and determine the marketing price: If you decide to sell, the first thing we need to do is an comparative market analysis of your home, which is the starting point to determine at what price we suggest marketing. When it is possible for us to visit the property first, as we always did, that is obviously ideal. But while lockdown and strict social distancing is still in place, we already have an online valuation tool to gather information which helps us to determine the estimated value of your property.
  2. Marketing of your property: It is now more important than ever to make sure you have a digital game plan and an effective online marketing strategy when selling your house. Going forward, lockdown regulations will be lifted gradually and buyers will not be able to visit properties as freely as they did in the past. A large part of the whole process will likely be socially distanced. Many aspects of real estate will change permanently, regardless of whether we’re given the green light to go back to business as usual. To this end we will be making use of many digital alternatives, such as HD photos, video walk-throughs, 3D tours, virtual show houses, detailed floor plans, more accurate and detailed listing information, and so forth, in order to give potential buyers as much info as possible for them to narrow down their choices and limit the number of required physical visits to properties.
  3. Getting offers and concluding sale agreements: This can all be arranged digitally, which is not new to us. If a buyer decides to make an offer on a property based on all the information we were able to provide, but it is not yet possible to arrange a final physical inspection of the property, buyers can sign an Offer To Purchase with a suspensive condition that stipulates that the transfer will only go ahead once it has passed a home inspection by the buyer, which will then be done as soon as possible after lockdown regulations permit it.
  4. Viewing after lockdown: As soon as the government lifts lockdown restrictions to the point where we are allowed to arrange home viewings again, this will be arranged by consent with the buyers and sellers, and strict social distancing and hygiene practises will be adhered to.


If you would rather wait until the worst of this crisis passes before marketing your home, there are things that can be done in the meantime.
Start doing touch-ups around the house, like painting over scuff marks or fixing broken door hinges. You could also begin packing your personal belongings into boxes to be stored in your garage or some other unused space – de-clutter.
Spend time getting your outdoor areas cleaned up and garden neat and tidy.
In general, get your home looking as good as it possibly can, as when we start the digital marketing, it will be imperative that the first impression is a good one!
That way, as soon as we return to a more normalised market, you are ready to show your home.


While things might appear to be doom and gloom right now, it could be a dramatically different and positive picture a few weeks from now. Sellers don’t have to suddenly pull their homes off the market. Buyers don’t have to abandon their property search right now.
We are in this together and we will get through this together.

We will help you safely and effectively navigate through all that’s new when it comes to making your next move.
Whatever your situation, we are here for you and will guide you through the home buying and/or selling process every step of the way.
You will also benefit from the powerful RE/MAX brand: RE/MAX is one of the largest real estate brands worldwide. We have the benefit of learning from our colleagues in other regions where they have been ahead of us in this whole pandemic.

Give us a call, send us an email, contact us on social media or on whatsapp, we are waiting to be of assistance wherever we can…

Lydia & André Vorster (Team LA)
Durbanville Property Specialists
– Members of the RE/MAX HALL OF FAME.
Tel: 0823247915