COVID Protocols For Showing Homes Listed For Sale

Posted on by Phil Querin

These guidelines require the consent of third parties, e.g. sellers, buyers, tenants, buyer brokers, inspectors, appraisers, property managers, contractors, plumbers, and others involved in the home purchase/sale transaction.  Accordingly, they should be provided with a copy of these requirements. Any questions or concerns expressed should be directed to the Supervisor where appropriate.

Screening: All prospective visitors to the home should be screened in advance. Brokerages should create a screening process to be used uniformly for every visitor. See PMAR COVID-19 “Suggested Visitor Screening Questionnaire” below, for example.

At all times, brokers are to maintain the minimum six (6) foot Social Distancing Rule (“Rule”), with all third parties, regardless of who the other party is, e.g. other brokers, vendors, inspectors, appraisers, sellers or buyers, tenants, etc. This Rule also applies to commuting to/from the property. the only exception to the Rule is for related persons who are members of the same household.

 Preparing Home in Advance of Visit/Tours. The goal is to make the home as safe as possible from contamination both before access to, and upon departure from, the home and property.

  • Provide and discuss the PMAR “COVID-19 Homeowner Advisory” with owner or tenant; make sure he/she is in agreement; add an Addendum to the Advisory for any additional conditions imposed by the owner or tenant, and retain a signed copy in the broker’s transaction file;
  • Discuss what hard surfaces will be sanitized before access (i.e., visits by repair persons are typically limited in scope to certain areas of the home, as compared to professional inspectors, appraisers, and prospective buyers, who typically have access to the entire home);
  • Discuss and address owner/tenant questions/concerns.

Visitors.

  • Identify exactly who will visit the home;
  • Make sure they have been screened (See above);
  • No groups; Not more than three (and preferably not more than two);
  • Make sure owners/tenants are contacted well in advance of visit;
  • Make sure visitors who appear ill do not have access to the home;
  • All travelling to/from home should be in separate cars, except immediate family members living in the same home.

Access Protocols.

  • Address owner/tenant concerns in advance;
  • Address visitor’s concerns in advance;
  • Make sure all are in agreement before access granted.
  • Discuss with owner/tenant how inspections/showings/tours will proceed;
    1. Is owner/tenant in agreement with process?
    2. Recommend all household members leave the home during showings and other activities during the transaction to ensure best social distancing;
    3. Consider mapping/diagramming course of tour;
    4. Reach agreement on length of visit, e.g. 10-15 minutes;
    5. Does owner/tenant insist upon visitors’ use of personal protective equipment?
  • Discuss with owner/tenant what other persons will be permitted to access home or property (e.g. inspectors, appraisers, contractors, plumbers, electricians, and others involved in the home purchase/sale transaction);
    1. If the property is non-owner occupied, discuss with owner how communications with tenant, and expectations of tenant, are to be managed;
    2. Discuss how arrangements for visitors will be managed (e.g. selection of entrance, access to site of tour, inspection, or repair. When selecting the inspector, appraiser, etc., review what protective measures they will take.) ;
    3. If protective measures are not deemed adequate by a visitor, broker and owner should determine whether visitor should be accompanied by the broker, or other designee, to assure compliance with this Policy, especially social distancing.

Making Personal Protective Equipment Available for Visitors

  • Make sure owner’s/tenant’s requests are observed;
  • Disposable gloves for those requesting them (if available);
  • Hand sanitizers throughout the home;
  • Disposable face masks for those requesting them (if available);
  • Disposable booties to cover shoes (if available);
  • Visitors to take all disposable items with them when they leave, and dispose of properly off-site.

Conduct During Tour.

  • Avoid hand-shaking and other contact greetings;
  • Make sure all visitors remain together, and understand protocols and time constraints;
  • Maintain at least 6-feet of separation with all others at all times;
  • Encourage visitors not to engage in lengthy conversations inside home; take the discussions off-site;
  • Remain standing; no sitting on furniture/chairs, counters, tables;
  • Make sure all doors and lights to accessible rooms on tour remain open, and those not accessible are so marked;
  • Use signage reminding visitors not to touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, counters, tables, chairs, handles/cabinet knobs, in kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, bedrooms, closets.

Departure Protocols.

  • Clean and sanitize immediately after each visit by any visitor who accessed the property or home pursuant to the listing. (Refer to CDC guideline: Clean & Disinfect.)
  • Follow up with Owner after each visit to confirm protocols were met, and address any concerns;

Suggested Visitor Screening QuestionnaireAll prospective visitors to a home should be screened in advance. If the visitor can answer “yes” to any of the following questions (without identifying which question applies), the visitor will not be permitted to access the property or home.

  • Have you been asked to self-quarantine since December 2019?
  • Have you been in close contact with any person(s) who has been asked to self-quarantine since December 2019?
  • Have you experienced a recent onset of any illness-related symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
  • Have you traveled outside of North America in the past 14 days?
  • Have you been in close contact with any person(s) who have traveled outside of North America in the last 14 days?
  • Have you been in close contact with any person(s) who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Other Resources.

 

Posted in Broker Risk Management, Miscellany, Real Estate General, Realtor Risk Management, Realtors | Tagged , ,
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