Covid-19 and the Resale Housing Market
Real estate is considered an essential service. This means that using the right precautions, we can still sell your property or find your dream home while minimizing your risk for Covid-19.
Understanding Your Risk Tolerance
Before you buy or sell, you need to assess your current situation. Are you working a front-line or high-risk job? Have you been vaccinated? Is someone in your household at greater risk if they catch Covid-19? Can you accept that people viewing your home and/or the people occupying a home may not be able to guarantee that they haven’t been exposed to Covid at the time of a showing? Once you understand your risk tolerance and your concerns, we can work together to make a plan for how we can list your home or view properties.
Reducing Covid-19 Exposure Risk
Part of reducing your risk means taking Covid-19 seriously and developing a plan that addresses any of the key concerns you have as a buyer or seller. Here are some ways we can work together to reduce risk:
- Screening buyers, sellers, or tenants: We can develop a list of screening questions if you’re listing a property or wanting to view a property.
- Avoid in-person meetings as much as possible: We minimize in-person meetings as much as possible by using text, phone, email, video chat, apps, etc.
- Complete documents and financial transactions online: I use DocuSign with all my clients to grab their electronic signature for all necessary paperwork. If possible, I encourage my clients to use e-transfer for things like placing their deposit rather than a bank draft. However, I have no problem working with bank drafts for deposits either.
- Use professional photos and a virtual tour to reduce in-person showings: My full-service representation for sellers always includes professional photos, a 2D floor plan and a 3D virtual tour. This separates out the tire-kickers from the serious buyers while reducing the need for multiple showings
- Just say no to open houses: I provide my clients with a solid, multi-channel marketing plan. This means we don’t need to rely on an open house as part of your customized sales strategy. For buyers, we can always negotiate a private showing
- Sellers and buyers can negotiate viewing conditions that reduce risk: As a seller, you can ask everyone entering your home to use things like masks and hand sanitizer, and even ask them to limit what they touch in the home (i.e., light switches and doorknobs only) as much as possible. This includes buyers and their representatives as well as third-party service providers like property inspectors, photographers, etc. As a buyer, you can also set ask for the lights to already be on and doors to be open to limit the need to touch high-contact surfaces. If a virtual tour isn’t available for the property, I’m happy to conduct an initial video tour to reduce the number of showings.
- Disinfect all high-contact areas before and after showings: These include things like light switches, doorknobs, handles, door frames, taps, etc.
With a little planning, we can reduce your risk while achieving your home selling or buying goals.
Check out the Real Estate Council of Alberta’s Covid-19 information for real estate for consumers for additional details.