Alex Weston is the perfect combination of relaxed and driven. His clients appreciate his smart, thoughtful, and often witty way of presenting information.
If you speak with him for even a few minutes, you can get a sense of the fantastic amount of knowledge he has about the real estate industry and the Calgary market.
His favourite part about being a Realtor is versatility. He works with people from all walks of life, which makes every day enjoyable.
He credits his wife’s patience for a lot of his success as they raise two little ones together. Moreover, he loves that she still lets him think he’s funny.
After the last few whirlwind months, we wanted to find out how society's current landscape affects his clients.
What kinds of adjustments did you make to help clients buy and sell in the current market?
For me, this market is similar to any other. It’s more about helping clients understand the current market conditions and coming up with a detailed plan to help them reach their goals.
It’s my job as an agent to give information and help people understand it.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to purchase?
One significant yet unspoken factor is how much layoffs, CERB disbursements, and income swings could affect a potential buyer's purchasing power. Banks will be critical in their income assessments in the future. Because that money is not a regular income, it will affect the qualification requirements moving forward.
Interestingly, this could have one of two effects on a buyer. Some people may not be able to get a home in the price range they previously could.
Others who have experienced a boost this year may qualify for more. In this case, they will need to make sure that they are comfortable at a higher price point when their income returns to a normal level.
Either way, it’s never too soon to be in touch with a real estate agent or mortgage broker to talk about what that looks like. Context is vital, and I am passionate about making sure my buyers understand their financial situation.
Have you noticed a change in buyers' needs in 2020 versus past years?
There’s been a subtle shift in people’s priorities. When we work with buyers, there is always a list of needs and wants. There are certain things on top of the list.
Previously, those things were “less fun” characteristics like living near work or in a particular school district.
Recently, many of my buyers are prioritizing proximity to the things they find enjoyment in. They are moving out of the city, closer to the activities they enjoy, or towards the mountains.
North American culture has traditionally been work-focused, and so for many people, this year has forced a slowdown and a pivot in perspective.
Working from home seems like it might be here to stay, so buyers are looking to maximize their off-hours.
This shift of putting fun and relaxation higher on our priority lists is cool. It's the way it should be!
Now, let’s talk about sellers. Has the way you positioning homes to sell changed over the past months?
It’s all about being able to empower my sellers to make informed decisions. I've been in this industry for a long time, and over the years, we've come up with a proven, repeatable process we take sellers through.
The process has been super reliable through market changes because it's based on understanding where the market is and where we need to be based on who has the leverage.
We then work to maximize exposure and navigate the smaller market adjustments from there.
I also really try to keep emotion out of it. There are so many emotions tied to our homes, and that can make it overwhelming.
I like to bring a little bit of lightheartedness to my work, and then I prove that I’m there to work hard for clients. It’s so much more than just putting a sign in the ground and hoping for a sale.
Being able to lay everything out in a logical order and knowing what to expect makes that decision-making process much more manageable.
Have you noticed a difference in the “boom” mentality?
Most homeowners have come to terms with the fact that the market is lower than in 2014. House values right now are generally more similar to 2010 prices.
Our market has been in a consistent downturn for the past five years.
The real crux now is whether sellers can get out of their current home with positive equity or whether they will essentially "pay" to sell their property.
I want the best for all my clients. A crucial part of my job is to layout the information and the process. Then, I have an honest conversation about whether it works for their wants and needs.
We don’t want false promises. If it is not working now, it is reasonable. We can revisit it when the time is right. My priority is my clients and helping them reach their goals.
Like Alex, we want to help you achieve your homeownership dreams. If you’d like to connect with Alex, or any of our real estate agents, reach out to us to book a coffee today.
The Chamberlain Real Estate Group specializes in working with agents who have an existing business. They want to add leverage to what they are doing to help more families transition in Calgary.
Learn more and find out how you can be a part of our team!