COVID-19: precautions to take while showing your property
Many are putting plans to sell their home on hold due to the pandemic. But some people have no choice but to go ahead and list. Here are some precautions to take to ensure safe showings and a satisfactory outcome.
Reduce the number of showings
Cutting back on the number of showings is the goal, if you put your home on the market during the pandemic.
The fewer people who come and go inside your home, the fewer family members and other visitors will be exposed to COVID-19 or any another virus.
You will not be required to ‘stage’ the house as often – tidying, cleaning – to welcome visitors.
In this period of teleworking, you will reduce the number of times you have to clean up your work materials and leave the house while a broker is showing it.
Compile a clear and comprehensive property listing. Do not leave out any details that could influence a potential buyer, even those that seem the most trivial to you.
Ask friends familiar with your property to look over the listing, as needed, to confirm that the description is accurate.
Add as many photos as possible to the online listing that show the home’s true appearance.
Avoid using photos taken with a wide-angle lens. This misrepresents room size by making them look larger than they are when they could actually be too small to meet the needs of a potential buyer.
If you are working with a broker who offers this service and it is within your budget, opt for showings in virtual reality. The advantages?
- Images of exceptional quality
- Everyone saves time: broker, buyer and you
- Possibility of integrating different décor
Verify people’s intentions
Pick potential buyers by asking specific questions before agreeing to a visit:
- Do they have a pre-approved mortgage?
- Is their current home sold or about to be?
- If yes, are there any conditions attached to the sale, for example, buyer has to sell their property before buying yours?
- If they are tenants, when does their lease expire?
If you’re not satisfied with their answers, say so.
Find out about visitors’ health
Don’t hesitate to ask questions about their health to know if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
When booking a showing, feel free to ask if potential visitors have travelled outside the area in the last 14 days. If the answer is yes, don’t allow them access to your home and reschedule the showing at a later date.
Staging the home
Pick up scattered objects. That way, you reduce the chances of a person touching your things or moving something around to get a better look. In addition, this will leave a more spacious impression.
- Cupboards are in order: visitors like to open cupboards and closets to estimate storage space.
- Beds are made and rooms are tidy.
- The bathroom is clean; do not forget the bathtub as visitors will want to see if it is in good condition.
- Kitchen countertops are clear.
If time permits, make some muffins or cookies so the smell of freshly baked goods filters through the home. Visitors will be charmed and the broker will thank you.
Put a bottle of hand sanitizer at the entrance and ask the broker to double check that people use it.
Turn on the lights in every room to discourage people from touching light switches.
Place hand wipes in the bathroom for visitors who need to use it during a showing. They will be happy to have access to wipes to disinfect before and after their bathroom break.
Also have hand soap available – preferably in pump format – and disposable towels. Plus don’t forget a garbage can.
Lastly, have paper masks on hand for anyone who may have forgotten their own.