Like all industries, COVID-19 has brought change to real estate, and how everyday business has been conducted. There are plenty of situations in the real estate business that can be conducted remotely, however, it is hard to complete all proper business protocols without in-person activities. Buyers still need a physical view of the property, and sellers will still have to address inspections as well as health and safety issues.
At B.C. Artman, we understand that and during this pandemic, we will strive to perform all activities remotely with as little contact as possible. We also have been given a list of best practices from the PA Association of Realtors. B.C. Artman will strive to make all of the recommended steps to protect people from COVID-19 while renting/buying or selling their home with them.
This means providing clients and customers with relevant up-to-date safety information and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing properties as well as minimizing in-person contact as often as possible. Other procedures, protocols, and cautionary steps that we are taking includes:
Our listing broker will maintain a record of ALL appointments and maintain contact information for all individuals who visit the property during the transaction.
Appointment Listing Guidelines
While most of the appointment processes can be taken place remotely, a physical inspection for potential buyers will be necessary. With that in mind, B.C. Artman will be following these added precautions beyond proper sanitation and social distancing precautions.
- Three individuals (one agent, two sellers) are the max number of people that will attend a listing appointment. Any occupant may stay on the property so long as they are following proper social distance protocol. However, it is advised that as many occupants as possible leave for the duration of the appointment.
- Before attending an appointment, you must complete a verbal health screening.Screening guideline can be found here.
- All attending must disclose health and safety risks to the sellers before allowing an in-person meeting. Sellers also retain the right to add stricter provisions before scheduling an appointment in writing.
What can buyers and sellers do before showings, walkthroughs, and other visits?
To stay prepared for the upcoming visit, and be ensured that all precautions have been met, buyers and sellers are recommended to:
- Schedule virtual showings when possible before an in-person meet
- Allow a minimum of 30 minutes between shows, or longer depending on seller discretion.
- Consider limiting in-person showings to only those pre-approved by a mortgage lender, or a buyer who shows proof of funds.
Beyond that, B.C. Artman will ensure to comply with any community/condominium/homeowner association rules that may be implemented in your building, common area, or community. Lastly, B.C. Artman advises that sellers go through proper sanitary precautions before a visit.
What buyers and sellers should expect during showings, walkthroughs, and buyer visits?
Beyond the proper sanitary and social distance precautions, B.C. Artman will comply with any showing instructions provided by the seller beforehand. Other recommendations include:
- Bring plastic bags to store personal property during your visit, and then throw the bag out after use.
- Agents will not use brochures, flyers, or business cards. They will provide an email address.
- Agents and buyers should not travel to the property together. Plan to meet at the property.
- Sellers are advised to leave lights on and doors as well as cabinets open, so that buyers can navigate the house with ease and clear vision. Buyers should avoid touching.
Contract negotiation can be done without in-person contact. Prepare for terms to be discussed via email, video conference, or telephone. Contracts also will be delivered electronically or mailed in all possible situations.
Closings and Settlements
Agents will not be attending settlements unless they are essential. Clients and settlement providers should provide advanced copies of all documents to review before the closing as well to make the meeting as short, and allow as little physical contact as possible.
Our plan for positive COVID-19 tests
When a B.C. Artman agent is aware that any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 has been at a property, they are to advise the seller to utilize sanitation guidelines from the PA state guidelines. Our brokers will assist all parties in the notification process.
Beyond ensuring that your home is safe as possible during the buying and selling process, B.C. Artman is ensuring their office operations follow guidelines as well.
- All agents and employees have been encouraged to work remotely as much as possible
- When in the office, employees are asked to use different supplies, and we will utilize a cleaning staff in our office.
- Clients and customers are only allowed in the office on an appointment-only basis.
- Any agent or employee with any cough, fever, or any symptoms of COVID-19 will be advised to stay home.
- Agents who test positive will alert the broker, or office manager and will follow all CDC self-isolation guidelines before returning to work.
As times are changing, B.C. Artman is committed to providing our clients with the ultimate buying and selling experience while also adhering to proper health and safety guidelines. We thank you for understanding these new provisions and look forward to working together to create a safe real estate environment. For more information on all safety and sanitary guidelines be sure to visit the PA Realtors website.