Every industry has been affected by the presence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States in some capacity. The real estate industry is no exception. Many buyers and sellers are rethinking their real estate plans in the upcoming months. To mitigate the risk of spreading the virus, a wide variety of preventative measures are being taken across the country. Some of which include working from home, ordering take out, and practicing various forms of social distancing whenever possible. People who choose to buy or sell a home during this time of uncertainty should strongly consider the following practices to protect themselves from the virus.
Attend/Request virtual showings
Video chat options like FaceTime and Skype are popular video chat options amongst real estate professionals. If you are interested in touring a property but do not want to step foot in it at this time, see if the agent would be willing to give you a virtual tour.
Do not touch surfaces with bare hands
People must understand that COVID-19 can survive on surfaces and be passed on by touch. If you choose to attend a home showing of any kind, do not touch anything. If at all possible, it is a good idea to slip on a pair of disposable gloves before entering a home. This should apply especially to the people who know they can’t keep themselves from touching surfaces. After you leave the home, dispose of the gloves in an outside garbage bin.
An excellent way to practice social distancing as a home buyer is to refrain from touring a home with other people inside. The total number of home showings have dramatically decreased since social distancing guidelines were enforced throughout the U.S. However, if you come across a home you would like to tour, it is in your best interest to avoid contact with other buyers. This means to attend appointment-only showings or only attend open houses if you are the only person(s) inside.
Create a plan with your agent
You and your agent must be on the same page when it comes to how you want to proceed with your home showings. Like many others, you may decide to put your in-person showings on hold for a while or only take appointment-only showings. Whatever you decide, you want to be clear when you speak with your agent about what you are comfortable with so they can respect your wishes.
Opt for virtual tours instead of in-person showings
While nothing can compare to seeing a home in person, it is understandable that many sellers are unwilling to host them at this time. Instead, consider offering virtual tours using an app like FaceTime to prevent people from entering your home.
Wipe down surfaces after showings
Once a showing has concluded, wipe down major surfaces in your home with an antibacterial cleaner. This should include kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as counter-tops.