The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted areas in our society that must change. Going out to a restaurant, stopping for gas, or simply strolling through the park now has more nuance. Knowing that we need to be cautious for ourselves as well as others, it is important to understand what precautions need to be taken in what used to be a normal activity. Buying a house is no different. The housing market must adapt just like other industries.
Keeping Yourself and Others Safe
Realtors typically show houses either by appointment or during an open house. Both of these situations require rethinking during COVID-19.
- Open House – During an open house, there can be multiple buyers in a home at the same time. They may cross paths and potentially spread the virus. Most likely, they will also open drawers and cabinets and possibly touch handles, pulls, and knobs. Although it has always been standard practice to clean a house before a showing, it is important for realtors to take extra measures to ensure client safety. Frequently touched areas should be cleaned quite often during an open house. Realtors must also keep social distancing measures in mind. They can post signage for buyers, limit the amount of people allowed in the house at the same time, and have different buyers look at separate parts of the house.
- Appointment – The safer option for buyers and realtors is to schedule an appointment. This way only the realtor will be present during the showing. There is no risk of social contamination except from between the buyers and the realtor. Virtual house shopping can be a powerful tool allowing buyers to see high quality pictures, video, and descriptions of a house before taking the risk at a showing. Individual appointments also allow realtors the opportunity to take additional precautions such as leaving the door open allowing the buyers to explore on their own.
Make Sure Your Realtor Takes Social Distancing and Cleaning Precautions
Ask your realtor about social distancing and frequent cleaning procedures during showings. Most realtors should be able to give you a straightforward answer to what they are doing during COVID-19. Like everything else, when looking for a property in 2020, do it safely.