Well 2020 has been quite the year so far, with Australian bush fires, oil prices dropping due to the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the Coronavirus global pandemic. It is only April 1st and I am already exhausted!
As we all know the safest place during this time is in our homes, as we are experiencing something very serious that will hopefully be short-lived. With all the tireless efforts everyone is taking too “flatten the curve” time will tell but, like many I am very optimistic we will get through this unprecedented time.
Notwithstanding Covid-19 the real estate market in Vancouver and the lower mainland continues to move. There are new homes coming on to the market, and sales being reported daily. Within the last few weeks I have seen multiply offers, back up offers and homes selling within days. Real estate agents, lawyers, mortgage brokers, appraisers, property inspectors, and land titles are all still open for business. These professionals associated with real estate have all modified the way they do business in order to keep everyone safe.
In talking with my family and friends over the last few weeks everyone seems so surprised I’m still working and able to show homes. I explain to them that on March 26 the provincial government announced that real estate agents are considered an essential service in BC. All open houses have been cancelled for now, virtual tours have become increasingly important, and we also face-time with clients if need be. Some agents are still conducting showings for clients whose need to find a home is urgent. For example, a seller may have sold their home earlier in the year and they now need to purchase a new home without being left in limbo. Many realtors are asking clients to do more due diligence ahead of time as this minimizes the amount of traffic going through the sellers home, and if prospective buyers are serious about a property, a viewing can be scheduled with precautions in place.
Over the last few weeks I have also sent out a form to my clients whether they are buyers or sellers. If people are in urgent need of finding a home we are implementing all the proper precautions including screening and asking the clients if anyone in the household is sick or has been travelling outside of the country.
So far it has been very helpful and initiates conversations regarding the Covid-19 and important precautions we should be taking.
Some ways that agents are navigating the recent changes on how we conduct showings in order to help keep everyone safe is……..
-Drive to showings in separate cars.
-Refrain from greeting others with a handshake or hug.
-Turn on all the lights and open any closet doors ahead of showings to minimize touching surfaces.
-Provide hand sanitizer, wipes and gloves
-Request visitors to wash their hands with soap and water
-Asking buyers to not touch anything in the home and let the listing realtor open and close any doors and closets.
-If children are present to hold the children at all times during the viewing.
-Maintain appropriate social distancing.
-Encourage clients to thoroughly clean and disinfect the home after viewings.
With everyone taking the necessary precautions in regards to Covid-19, I am positive we will all come out of this a stronger society. With spring in the air, I am sure we are all looking forward to spending some time outdoors, and hopefully resuming some normalcy in the near future.
Stay healthy everyone and keep your social distance.