Shopping for a home is exciting, but we’re definitely living in some strange times. The current COVID-19 pandemic means there will be changes when interacting with your realtor, and while this current health crisis is obviously fluid, the essential service real estate industry has been provided guidance through the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Here’s what you need to know about realtor safety during the COVID-19 crisis.
All real estate brokers must adhere to local and state laws.
Restrictions are in place across America which limit the reopening of businesses. Brokers will follow best practices when deciding whether or not they meet the operational criteria for their business to start up again. In the throes of a pandemic, realtors are still required to follow all fair housing laws as applicable, so be assured you’ll be in good hands with your chosen realtor.
CDC recommendations for realtors.
As with any other business, realtors have been advised to practice social distancing while limiting person-to-person contact as much as possible. The new norm for many Americans has become web-based video conferencing – it seems we’re all holding virtual Zoom calls instead of physically meeting. As long as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc throughout the world, the gathering of people with the potential to spread the virus means real estate open houses will sadly be a thing of the past.
Can I still view a home during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, you can – although it may not be in person. Even if the laws in your geographical area are allowing in-home access for viewing a home, NAR has advised their realtors to utilize video previews, virtual showings, and 3D tours over in-person showings as the potential for virus exposure is just too risky. But if you’re lucky enough to schedule a physical showing, you’ll be told not to touch anything in the home even though it’s a natural inclination to want to do so. In general, the doors, cabinets, and closets throughout the home will have already been opened by the realtor before your inspection. And when you’re done, the realtor will clean any touched areas with disinfectant before showing the home to others.
Personal safety precautions.
In order to minimize possible COVID-19 exposure to you, your family, and/or your realtor, you’ll be asked to:
- wear a face mask or other personal protective equipment (PPE)
- not shake hands and/or to keep your hands in your pockets
- use hand sanitizer upon arrival and leaving
- only bring a limited number of people to the appointment, with generally no children allowed
- remain in your vehicle until your realtor has arrived on site
- not share any pens, paper, or any other items during the showing; any required documents will be provided electronically
You may need to disclose more information than normal.
If your realtor agrees to show you a home in person, they may require you to provide a pre-qualification letter upfront to ensure you’re an interested and qualified buyer. You’ll also need to answer some self-disclosure questions regarding any potential exposure to or symptoms of COVID-19. Realtors will be maintaining a database of all in-person client contact, so be prepared to provide the basics in case a virus exposure situation occurs.
COVID-19 precautionary safety protocols are now integrated into our way of life, but many people don’t apply this same level of concern into their homeownership. Your home is probably your biggest asset and DomiDocs can help protect your investment by offering a user-friendly online platform where you can proactively keep on top of scheduled home maintenance, store your important homeowner documents, and know the current value of your home at any given moment. DomiDocs is here to deliver confidence and security even during this ever-changing world crisis situation we’ve all unfortunately found ourselves in.