Healthy Home Shopping Tips
For home buyers and sellers (and real estate agents) these days staying healthy and preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a top priority. We encourage buyers and sellers to make their own decisions on their level of comfort with leaving their home or allowing others into their home, and this may look a little different for each person. Here we are sharing recommendations for clients who wish to actively view homes in person or sellers who are allowing in-person showings of their home - neither of these activities is required to buy or sell a home.
Tips for Buyers
Limit the number of homes that you look at by carefully pre-screening before scheduling a showing
Take a trip to the neighborhood and walk or drive by the home to make sure that the location is one that you are comfortable with and the home appears in person from the outside like one you’d want to see
Utilize virtual resources like videos, 3D tours, and floorplans to determine if a home fits your search criteria. Ask your agent if you don’t see these readily available for a listing
Plan to visit homes one time, minimize the need for follow up visits
Make sure any decision-makers are present for the showing to prevent follow up visits from being necessary
Prepare any questions in advance from pre-screening online materials
Visit during a time of day when you can see the light, views and any other features that are important
Bring a measuring device if room measurements are important to your decision
Take notes during your visit
Take the same precautions for home visits as you would to visit a grocery store
Wear a mask, at all times during your showings
Utilize shoe covers, gloves and other seller requested safety measures at showings
Plan to discuss properties outside of the home with your real estate agent from a distance of 6 feet apart, or discuss by phone from your car after each visit
Minimize the number of surfaces you touch as much as possible including door handles, light switches and cabinets
If children need to attend parents if possible should take turns viewing without the child entering the home
Discuss homes with your agent outside of the home after you view it
If you or anyone in your household is not feeling well, let your agent know and stay home.
If you test positive for COVID-19 inform your agent so that they may help you plan ahead or modify your timeline. We kindly request that you refrain from requesting in-person appointments for at least 14 days after your symptoms subside, or after you have received a negative test result.
Tips for Sellers
- Provide buyers options to view your home virtually before scheduling an in-person visit. Recommendations include floorplans, videos, 3D tours, professional photos.
Establish a safety protocol with your agent.
This may vary from seller to seller depending on whether a home is occupied. This information should be distributed to buyers' agents and posted in the home.
Provide instructions on what visitors should or should not do in the home
Require advance scheduling and limit showings to one at a time
Agents should utilize a showing service or another scheduling system to prevent overlapping showings and ensure that there is enough time between showings to prevent contact
Sellers should leave the home in advance of the scheduled showing
Prepare your home for safe showings
For occupied homes, if the weather permits, consider leaving windows open to increase airflow
Provide hand soap and paper towels and encourage visitors to use upon entry
If you are able to leave your home for an extended period, consider going away for the first weekend or first several days that the home is listed (which is typically the time with the highest number of showings)
Frequently disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and railings.
For occupied homes, if you or anyone in your household is not feeling well, let your agent know and plan to stay home. Showings can be rescheduled.
We encourage all of our clients whether a buyer or seller to determine their own level of comfort with in-person real estate activities and support their decisions on how they wish to participate. We thank all of our clients and colleagues for doing their part to stop the spread and keep everyone as safe as possible. We have virtual options available for every step of the process utilizing video calls, virtual tours, and more. If you’re thinking about buying or selling and wondering what your options are, feel free to reach out and we can discuss a strategy to meet your needs.
This is not intended to be medical advice and readers should consult a professional if they have any medical or health related questions.