As real estate brokers in Wilmington, NC, we have assisted a variety of homeowners sell their properties throughout the pandemic, including those who are high-risk or have family members who fall in that category. We understand the stress of uncertainty and the risk posed by strangers entering a home. We also know that job transfers still happen, family members want to be near each other more than ever, and now is financially the best time for some people to move. While there is no 100% effective way to prevent contracting the virus, there are steps that can help minimize exposure.
Encourage Virtual First Showings
Real estate brokers have multiple options for hosting virtual showings for their buyers, including Facebook Live, YouTube, Facetime, Vimeo, and Zoom. Don’t hesitate to ask your broker to encourage virtual first showings. They provide good insight to a home’s features and can eliminate buyers who may be looking for obvious attributes that your home lacks. Realize that some buyers are doing their due diligence prior to viewing a home in person, so not everyone will want a virtual first showing. But it can cut down on unnecessary visits to your home.
Require Face Masks and Shoe Coverings
Face masks are one of the biggest defenses against COVID-19 we have right now. But it’s also one of the most controversial. Not everyone wants to wear a mask. Not everyone will enter a home that requires them to wear one. However, your health is of utmost importance.
If you want to require people to wear a mask while they’re in in your home, it’s best to disclose it in the showing instructions, which their real estate broker will see prior to the visit. You should also have a basket next to your front door that has spare masks in case they don’t bring one. Also, make sure there is an obvious trash can for them to dispose of the mask, so none are left lying around.
While many people are concerned with respiratory droplets carrying the virus, not everyone considers what visitors track in on their shoes. You may want to consider asking visitors to remove them or wear shoe covers that you supply.
Create a Sanitizing Station
Make it easy for visitors to adhere to a high standard of cleanliness by providing a sanitizing station next to your front door. Include hand sanitizer and disposable gloves, in addition to the extra masks and shoe coverings mentioned above. The station is also a great place to leave some information about the property, as people will be stopping there first.
Open All Interior Doors and Turn on All Lights
To reduce the number of surfaces that visitors need to touch, open all interior doors and turn on all lights. This includes kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors and closet doors. Don’t be afraid to post some polite signs around the home or at the sanitizing station letting visitors know that you’ve done this for the benefit of everyone in the home.
Disinfect After Each Showing
Be diligent in your disinfecting. Clean after each showing to cut down on the number of possibly contaminated surfaces. As always, please refer to the CDC guidelines for the proper steps for disinfecting. While we don’t normally encourage lots of restrictions on the times home showings are allowed, if you or someone in your immediate family are high risk, it may benefit you to limit showings to certain days or time blocks. This will cut down on the time you spend disinfecting your home.
If you are considering listing your home for sale, make sure you disclose your needs to your real estate broker early in the process. It will give them an opportunity to prepare the marketing needed to accommodate the changes. They may also have additional ideas for making the showings at your home COVID-safe.
Give us a call if you’re thinking of listing your home in the Wilmington area. We are happy to answer all your questions about selling during these unique times.
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