There are hundreds of reasons why people choose to buy or sell a home when they do. Some may like to anticipate and outsmart the market, while others are left with no choice but to buy or sell immediately. Even during the COVID-19 outbreak, the same rules applied. Some chose to wait until after the virus subsided, while others chose or had no choice but to buy or sell during this unprecedented time.
Homes are still being bought and sold, but the process did evolve during the pandemic. New steps were taken to ensure the safety of those involved in the buying and selling process. In 2020, we put out a recommendation that speaks directly to REALTORS ®, with 10 Steps for Holding a Safe Showing or Open House. The message remains valuable for REALTORS ® and consumers alike to understand the role they play in practicing safe home buying and selling as COVID continues to impact public health.
We clearly outlined the steps for REALTORS ® last year, but as time passed, we realized buyers and sellers too could use tips to follow in this market. We are not doctors, lawyers, or infectious disease professionals. After a lot of discussion and research on CDC recommendations, we came up with safety tips so that homes can continue to be shown, bought, and sold while this threat still exists.
Buyer Safety Tips:
Buyers should be doing everything they can to minimize exposure or the potential spread of COVID-19 while attending showings and open houses. Be aware of current mask mandates in your city or state. The steps below are recommended so that all buyers can stay safe and respect the safety of sellers during the home buying process.
You may be asked to wear a mask or face covering to protect yourself and others fully. It may also be required that you wear gloves or booties over your shoes.
If there are other people at the property for a showing or open house, be prepared to wait outside until it’s your turn. It’s possible that only small groups will be allowed in the property at one time.
Seller Safety Tips:
Our Lamacchia Realty REALTORS ® have been following these suggested guidelines, as depicted by the infographic to the right. As a seller, you should be working with a REALTOR ® who has set these parameters in place in order to keep you and your family protected during showings. Sellers should follow the recommended steps below and keep in mind that most agents at this point may have new ways of holding showings and controlling the crowd to keep everyone as safe as possible.
- As there are no current mandates (check your state or city mandates to be sure) limiting the number of people at gatherings, Open Houses can and are frequently held. The REALTOR ® should be prepared to limit the number of groups in the house at one time to aid in social distancing according to the seller’s comfort level.
- Sellers have the option to hold block showings rather than an open house. Tours can be held in small groups and kept relatively brief. By limiting your showing blocks, you only need to do one thorough deep clean after the potential buyers leave.
- A sign right outside the door reads, “Showings will be done in groups with the listing agent. Please do not enter until the listing agent invites you.”
- A sign right inside the door that everyone who comes in will immediately see: “PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL AND MINDFUL OF COVID-19. Please do not touch surfaces, open drawers or cabinets, and refrain from using the bathrooms. I appreciate your cooperation.”
- You may ask that people wear face masks when they enter your home to ensure everyone’s safety. Offering booties to cover shoes and asking people to wear gloves are also ways to be safe when holding a showing or open house.
- Always be sure to check current local and state mask mandates.
- Once the last group leaves, either you or your REALTOR ® can wipe all the doorknobs, railings, and doors by hand with sanitizing wipes, to be extra careful.
For more information on the real estate market and how COVID-19 continues to play a role, view our COVID-19 Resource Page.
Disclaimer- This document was created by Anthony Lamacchia and several other members of Lamacchia Realty. None of them claim to be lawyers, doctors, or medical professionals. Realtors are free to use this as a guide, but it is in no way a guarantee of any sort. All Realtors should consult with their own Brokers, lawyers, medical professionals local or state, or even federal boards of health or centers for disease control.