Although we’re classified as an “essential business”, our industry has been dramatically disrupted by all the changes brought about by COVID-19 and the response to it. You may be surprised to hear that we are still getting real estate deals done. That said, we are all mindful of the potential risks and very concerned about the health of our clients, our families, and ourselves. In addition to social distancing we’ve recently initiated the following procedures:
- Our agents are committed to working from home as much as possible. Office visits are severely limited, and if someone does need to go to the office, we prefer those visits occur one agent at a time. Each of us will then follow strict disinfecting procedures for all knobs, handles, and flat/shared surfaces before leaving.
- Our agents will verbally pre-screen all prospective buyers, sellers, and tenants for risk factors: have they been exposed to anyone that is sick or are they not feeling well themselves? Have they traveled recently? Are they following safe distancing and quarantine procedures themselves?
- Our agents no longer ride with clients but request that they follow or meet us at the desired property
- Our agents no longer conduct Open Houses.
- Our agents practice social distancing when meeting service providers such as appraisers and inspectors. Buyers are encouraged to attend inspections, although they will be asked to limit their time in the home in addition to distancing.
- Our agents will provide disposable latex gloves to all buyers. These will be made available to buyers we work with, and then discarded and replaced prior to viewing the next home. Gloves will also be available at each of our active listings along with instructions for the buyers’ agent and buyers to please use them.
- Sellers will be advised to disinfect all hard surfaces and handles after each showing. Vacant homes will receive the same treatment (by the listing agent) on a weekly basis.
- All documents will be acknowledged via digital signature or fax.
- Most if not all face-to-face meetings are now conducted online.
- Title companies are refining their remote capabilities as well, but they still need to notarize signatures. Agents will review closing documents but will no longer attend closing appointments.
- Our agents will ensure that all our listings are prominently displayed online with professional photography, virtual tour, and a detailed video walk-through tour.
If you choose to buy or sell over the near future, we will be there for you. Meanwhile, we hope you’ll join us in supporting our local businesses as much as possible. If you’re into social media, please be kind, courteous, and empathetic. Last, but not least, take good care of yourselves and your families. It’s times like these that remind us of the true nature of our character.
Photo Credit: Nik Anderson; Flickr via Creative Commons License