Health and safety best practises for viewings in the time of COVID-19
As the real estate market begins to pick up, requests for viewings are increasing. But COVID-19 is still a major health concern. To keep homeowners, clients and condo building residents safe while viewing properties, here are a few tips to keep in mind for hosting clients during viewings as well as setting up a property for a selling client.
Preparing a home for viewing
Set up a “sanitation station” on a side table inside the entryway of a home with hand sanitizer, disposable masks and gloves which visitors can use if needed. There, you can also post polite reminders to remove shoes and avoid touching switches and door handles. You may also want to place additional reminders above light switches and door handles, and be sure to leave all the lights on and doors open to avoid the need for further contact. If you want to display a feature like ensuite laundry or a built-in closet organizer, keep these closets open as well. Be sure to allow 30 minutes in between the end of one viewing and the start of the next one. This allows extra time for disinfecting and also to avoid accidental run-ins of buyers within the unit.
While it may have been commonplace for realtors to pick up clients in their car and drive them to viewings, it’s now recommended for realtors and clients to travel separately in their own vehicles. If your clients are walking or cycling, this may require some additional time to be booked in between appointments or to group viewings together in the same neighbourhoods. If you’re viewing a condo, use the elevator separately from your clients and other residents or take the stairs if it is a low-level unit. Limit group sizes to two clients at most.
Masks and gloves
Realtors and clients should be wearing masks and gloves when viewing a home. Stock up on a supply of disinfecting wipes, disposable masks and gloves in case your clients don’t have any available. Alternatively, you can suggest that they bring their own reusable fabric masks to wear during a viewing. It’s a good idea to keep a set of wipes, masks and gloves in your vehicle so you always have them ready when needed.
Sanitize and limit contact with surfaces
If necessary, remind clients not to touch doorknobs and light switches as they’re entering and exiting a room and also to leave all the lights switched on. If your clients are eager to open a cupboard or turn on a faucet, offer to do it for them with a gloved hand and sanitize the surface before and after with a wipe. When you’re accessing the lockbox and key, be sure to wipe them down before and after its use.
After a few viewings, these safety precautions and steps will become habitual. But it might take a few reminders along the way. Be sure to take all wipes, gloves and masks with you and dispose of them in an outside garbage bin.