What makes for a safe showing? Whether you are a potential renter, prospective buyer, the seller, or the landlord…what are the best practices in making it safe?
►Everyone must wear a mask.
►Maintain recommended physical distancing. I prefer saying physical distancing rather than social distancing as we do want to be social…just not physically close.
►Parties of two are recommended–plus their real estate agent, of course, being allowed in a property at one time. Parties should be encouraged not to bring children and/or pets to the showing or leave them attended outside the property.
►At an open house, it’s best to only have one party inside the property at a time. Showings should be by appointment and timely.
►No shaking of hands. Maybe the Thai wai will become popular…a very respectful yet physically distanced greeting. Very special tradition in Thailand.
►The agents or the owner should turn on lights, open cabinet doors, open closet doors and window coverings before the showing so as to minimize the touching of surfaces–and agents or the owner also be turning off the lights, wiping down touched surfaces, etc. after the showing.
►Sellers and landlord are not to be present inside the property while it is being shown.
►Owners are within their right to request people remove their shoes and may very well have other precautions they want respected and adhered to.
►Ideally, the bathroom is not to be used.
►Hands should be sanitized before the showing and again immediately after leaving the showing, and agents should be providing that hand sanitizer.
►Don’t go passing paper documents at these showings–instead follow up with any information electronically after you leave the property.
►Conversations should be held outside the property, in a ventilated area.
In addition to those safety issues, we have legal issues:
►All concerned parties should complete the COVID-19 Disclosure form prior to the showing.
►Any COVID-19 screening questionnaires used should be used prior to the showing and kept on file by the agent involved.
►As of June, 2020, the Fair Housing Notice must be displayed at open houses.
And, I will add:
SELLERS: Start with a good video tour. Limit personal showings to those prospective buyers that are pre-qualified for their financing and are serious.
VIDEO TOURS: As an aside, video tours are no longer nice to have. Video tours are crucial to have. I use them for both sales listings as well as rental listings in addition to photos and room dimensions.
At DiTommaso Real Estate we have a great videographer in Anthony. Same Anthony that works with me for my vlog series. He’s great and so is his work.
BUYERS and RENTERS: Narrow your property search through photos, virtual tours, and leveraging other technology to reduce the number of in-person showings.
CONCLUSION: The new normal is not easy. Attention to detail is so very important–always was and is. This new normal is likely to be with us for some time to come, so we need to think and plan accordingly.