The wheels of the real estate trade now turn on a new spin, as health measures have been adopted to avoid the perils of Covid-19. Moving into the Memorial Day weekend, the Judy Kepecz-Hays team set an open house of our listing in Lido Key. Government and industry guidelines on how to conduct such in-person showings safely have already been issued.
These preventive steps in virus spread are bound to be the new norm in selling real estate.
Currently, the foremost advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other regulatory bodies is to observe social distancing and to use face masks and coverings in business environments. Personal interaction shall surely take place in open houses, so these recommendations must be observed.
There are more precautionary steps to take especially if you’re selling a residence. So here are some tips on how to prepare for a safe open house for prospective buyers.
- Control foot traffic
To observe the best practices in social distancing, try to schedule your open house hours by batches or appointments. Try to limit the number of people to four in the residence at any one time. It goes without saying that to accomplish this setup, you’ll need to announce the open house well in advance and set a specific time schedule for each prospective buyer.
- Minimize potential contamination
Place a sanitizing doormat at the house entrance. Open the residence’s windows to have good air outflow, as well as sunlight coming in. Also, open all interior doors so that visiting buyers don’t have to touch the door handles when entering rooms. Provide disposable gloves and easy-to-access hand sanitizers in the house. Availability onsite of some extra face masks is likewise advisable.
- Disinfect thoroughly after the open house
Use disinfecting wipes or other CDC-approved cleaning supplies to clean surfaces of your residence thoroughly after each open house. Also, dispose the gloves or face masks that the prospective buyers used and left behind.
Remote closing process
For Covid-19 precautions, significant adjustments have likewise been made in moving forward with a sale, one of which is the remote closing of a deal. Here, the title company involved in the transaction prepares the necessary documents and then emails these to the concerned parties or have them uploaded to an agreed-upon website.
Next, the title company through video verifies all personal identification and information, and the contracting parties sign the documents digitally. Audio-video conferencing technology is again used to notarize the electronically signed documents. Notably, 23 states in the U.S., including Florida, already have online notarization policies.
Some title companies also facilitate closings with sellers and buyers assigned different rooms, the furniture used sanitized, and the signing pens provided are not returned. Staff members can also be sent to the buyer and sellers’ residences and wait outside for the documents to be signed. Alternatively, the closing process can be done in a public park where the deal could be done across large picnic tables to facilitate social distancing.
Even amidst the current Covid-19 crisis, you can be sure that real estate agents like our Judy Kepecz-Hays team are doing all we can to serve clients the best way possible. Contact us if you’re buying or selling a residence. We are well-equipped and have all the skills and experience to help you engage the market safely and efficiently.