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COVID19 Protocols Sellers

May 18, 2020 Community Information

Real Estate in the Era of COVID19

Worldwide, the effects of dealing with the COVID19 situation is creating change in every aspect of life. Real Estate is no different. Fortunately, Realtors® have been deemed an Essential Service, which makes sense when you consider housing and shelter are a basic need. We are incredibly adaptable and able to help our clients navigate these unchartered waters. There are still sellers needing to sell, and buyers needing to buy, for a variety of reasons. It is our privilege to help our clients while following all current public health orders and recommendations.

Part of these recommendations for Realtors® include limiting physical contact as much as possible, to ensure Buyers are ready to buy, and Sellers are ready to sell, and that our services are required. This creates unique protocols for Buyers and Sellers and their Realtors®. 

It is a great time for Sellers to be listed on the MLS system we use, as there are many Buyers staying home due to physical distancing protocols and they are spending time viewing properties on the internet. It is a Seller’s choice whether to allow showings of their home or not. Normally Realtors® are not allowed to have a listing on the MLS service unless the seller is prepared to have showings. However, during these times an exception has been allowed and properties can be listed on the MLS service without allowing showings, thus enabling a Seller’s home maximum exposure while Buyers are looking online, with the intent for the Seller to allow showings once comfortable doing so. The advice of your Realtor® during this time can be crucial in meeting your personal real estate goals.

What Sellers can expect when selling property

Ask yourself if you’re in a position to sell your home now. Have you spoken with your mortgage advisor, is your mortgage for your subsequent purchase pre-approved and ready to go, updated after COVID19? Are you prepared to have people physically visit your home for preparation of listing and for showings? Having the advice and assistance of a Realtor® while selling a home can be crucial to achieving your goals, especially in a fast-changing market.

Market Evaluation & Listing

We are happy to provide a complimentary market evaluation of your home. The process has changed slightly in that Realtors® will visit a home only once, either via video tour by the Sellers, or by a personal visit in which the Seller waits outside while the Realtor® tours the home. The follow up visit to discuss the market evaluation report will be a phone or video call with the Realtor®. All paperwork to list a home can be signed using electronic signature programs, such as DocuSign®.

Marketing materials such as photographs, floor plans, and 3D or 360° tours will be conducted with as little physical contact by as few people as possible. Again, Sellers will be asked to wait outside while professionals are conducting their practice. Physical visits by Realtors® and others will include that visitors wear gloves, use hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes whenever necessary, and could include wearing of a mask. Physical distancing of 6 feet between everyone will be maintained. 

Sellers should be prepared to answer and sign a health questionnaire and disclaimer for their Realtor® acknowledging risks associated with having showings. We need your written consent to proceed with showings during these times. Rest assured that we continue to market your property extensively, investing in 3D & 360° tours wherever possible, utilizing a variety of marketing tools including social media and online venues to maximize your property’s exposure to as many Buyers as possible.

Showings

Sellers can be assured that any prospective Buyers wishing to visit their home are the proposed purchasers of the property only, no family members or friends viewing with them. Sometimes a Realtor® may visit the home for a video showing for their buyer. The Seller can also be assured that the Buyers & their Realtor® have been pre-screened, have answered and signed a disclosure questionnaire about current health, travel history, and any symptoms anyone may be feeling, and have researched the property extensively prior to requesting a visit. Pre-screened means the Buyer has been asked if their financing is in order, if they have a home to sell prior to being able to purchase, if they have reviewed the documentation provided with each listing and the video tour if available, if they have driven by the home and viewed the neighbourhood prior to arranging a showing.

Physical visits by Realtors® and others will include that visitors wear gloves, use hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes whenever necessary, and could include wearing of a mask. Physical distancing of 6 feet between everyone will be maintained. Sellers will be asked to vacate the home during the showing, to turn on all lights, open all doors and closets, this will minimize the number of surfaces the Realtor® will need to touch in order to show the home. Buyers will be asked to keep their hands in their pockets and touch nothing during the showing. Anything that is touched by a Realtor® will be disinfected prior to and afterwards by the Realtor®. The Seller is advised to disinfect all interior and exterior door handles, light switches, lockbox, surfaces and counters after a showing. After a showing all lights will be left turned on and all doors will be left open, this will minimize contact with the Seller’s home as much as possible.

Offers & Contracts of Purchase and Sale

Contracts of purchase and sale (offers) can be presented electronically and discussed via phone or video call. Subjects in contracts may still be fulfilled by having building inspections performed, insurances arranged, mortgages finalized, etc. The trades involved in each of these transactions will most likely be conducting most of their business remotely, with building inspectors wearing extensive protective gear while inspecting a home, and phone consultations between buyers and home inspectors. Insurances and mortgages can be arranged via telephone, thus keeping physical contact and visits to a minimum. Be prepared for the time period for subjects to be fulfilled to be longer than previously expected. Many agencies are very busy and are working as quickly as possible to finalize arrangements for their clients. Ensure that additional trades related to a sale are available when needed, such as movers, cleaners, gardeners, handymen, etc. Having the advice and experience of a Realtor® while negotiating your offer and choosing dates can be crucial in achieving your goals.

Completion & Possession

Consult with your lawyer prior to completion date to determine how the conveyance of paperwork will be conducted. Some lawyers are conducting video consultations and electronic signatures rather than meeting in person. Key exchanges are now done while maintaining physical distancing rules of 6 feet of separation.

Whether buying or selling, our expertise and adaptability will help our clients achieve their real estate goals during these unprecedented times. Call us today, a Realtor® is ready to assist you.