With real estate transactions now classified as an "essential" service, buyers and sellers can venture back into the housing market. Here's how to do it while still maintaining proper social distancing.
Despite the stay-at-home mandates, residential real estate has been determined to be an essential service. This makes sense, as people need a place to live and there are some things you just can’t stop.
Perhaps you’re one of those families who recently sold their home, worked out a rent-back with the new buyers and are under a time crunch to find your next house.
Perhaps you find a house that is a potential fit for you by painstakingly studying all of the online photos, the video tour, the floor plan, the detailed map of the exact location of the home and the surrounding area, and you’ve reviewed, in detail, the comparable homes with your agent. You’ve driven by the house in your own vehicle. And after all of that, you feel like there’s more than a 50% chance you’ll like the house enough to submit an offer.
You set up an appointment to view the house with your Realtor.
Here are a few tips for staying safe, keeping each other safe, and moving forward.
For the home sellers, wipe down all the surfaces in your home with disinfectant. This includes the cabinets, counters, light switches, door handles (especially the front door), faucets, and the lockbox.
Turn on all of the lights, open the closet doors, and open the back door.
Leave the house at least 30 minutes before the buyers and their agent are scheduled to arrive. Sitting in your car, parked where you can see the visitors arrive and depart, is a great idea.
Take some disinfectant with you. When all of the visitors leave your house, use the disinfectant to wipe down the lockbox and front door handles before you go back inside.
Repeat the process you used before the visitors arrived and wipe down all of the surfaces with disinfectant. And wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
For home buyers, wash your hands before you leave to go to look at any house. Travel in your own vehicle.
Only bring the most necessary family members to view the house – hopefully, no more than two people.
Wear gloves if at all possible. Do not touch anything in the house, maybe by keeping your hands in your pockets or clasped together.
Tour the house on your own, then using proper social distancing, let your agent tour the house, maybe even go and wait in your car.
Try FaceTime or Skype or any other live video call app to go with your agent as she tours the house, discussing your concerns together.
Of course, it goes without saying that no one should agree to a visit from an agent and/or potential buyers if anyone in the house is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
Similarly, no one displaying symptoms should be leaving their home, especially to go to anyone else’s home, regardless of how perfect it might appear to be.
Be safe. Together, we will get through this.