Despite all the changes made and the strict limitations imposed by the governments as the result of the outbreak of Covid-19 all around the world in early 2020 and also the impact of this on the real estate industry, real estate transactions are still going on in Canada. Although many real estate transactions are now being conducted through the Internet, multimedia, e-mail, telephone, and video-based communication for safety reasons, many house buyers insist on viewing the listings in person before making any purchase. The question is, “Considering the fact that Covid-19 is still pandemic, is it wise to hold open houses?”
Open House during Covid-19: Yes or No?
Like your fellow agents, one of the biggest challenges you probably face these days is that some home sellers are not willing to open the door for potential buyers. It is understandable why. They don’t want to put their own and their family’s life in danger by letting the foreigners – who can be potential transmitters of Covid-19 – come inside and freely walk through the house.
On the other hand, home purchasing is probably the greatest investment people make in their lifetime. Buying a house without inspecting it first is like buying a pig in a poke. You shouldn’t expect them to make such a big decision just based on a few photos and videos taken from the house. Whether you are going to sell a listing or find an appropriate property for your client, this article gives you some useful safety tips to hold a safe open house during Covid-19.
Precautions for Real Estate Agents to Avoid Covid-19 during an Open House?
Disinfect the House
If you intend to hold an open house for your listing, talk to the house owners and ask them to disinfect the entire house prior to the event. Besides, make sure that during the open house time, high-touch surfaces like doorknobs or light switches must be constantly disinfected. As soon as the open house ends, apply alcohol or other recommended disinfectants wherever needed. It is also recommended that you put hand sanitizers throughout the house so that the visitors can use them if needed.
Use Protective Equipment
Sellers are not usually present on-site during an open house. You can suggest your clients ask someone else to require all visitors to observe safety protocols and also control if they all wear protective masks and gloves while in the house. Just to be on the safe side, you can suggest the sellers provide extra safety equipment to give to those not bring a mask or gloves with them. Don’t forget to require all visitors to remove their shoes at the entrance and wear booties before coming in.
Keep Physical Distancing
It is said that not only sufferers but also healthy people can be carriers of Covid-19. Therefore, to prevent the transmission of the disease, make sure that all persons who are present in the event maintain a distance of 6 feet (1.5 m). You can also put a sign containing necessary safety information near the entrance.
Limit the Number of Visitors
Have a conversation with your clients and assure them you will limit the number of individuals in the viewings (less than ten people in each tour). Also, you should limit the time people can stay inside the property. If the interior space is small, you can recommend that the sellers set up an area outside so that you can safely converse with the potential buyers. That way, the guests will spend less time inside the house.
What to Avoid?
When it comes to holding an open house amid Covid-19, never forget that health must be your top priority. Avoid holding an open house if your clients or their family don’t feel well. Don’t feel shy not to allow the suspect cases who have symptoms such as fever, cough, or other flu-like symptoms to enter the house. Don’t let the visitors stay more than the given time inside and kindly ask them to leave the house after they view it. Avoid handing out collateral, brochures, business cards, or other physical objects to the guests.
These simple precautions can make a big difference. Your current preventive actions not only guarantee your and your clients’ health but also improve your public image as a considerate, professional real estate agent.
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