I’m selling my house, but I’m concerned about having strangers in my home during the COVID-19 pandemic. How can I minimize my risk?
| June 07, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of Albertans’ lives. It is understandable that you would be concerned when selling your home at this time. However, there are ways to do it safely to reduce the possibility of contracting COVID-19.
Before proceeding with viewings you should understand your personal risk tolerance with COVID-19. Do you, or does anyone in your family, have any health conditions that put you at greater risk? Do you work in an essential service? Are you comfortable knowing that you can’t guarantee people viewing your home will know for sure whether they’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus? Once you gauge your tolerance, speak to your real estate professional about any concerns you have with opening your home to outside visitors.
Based on your concerns, you and your real estate professional can find options to minimize your risk and ease your mind, including:
- reducing in-person viewing through virtual communications. You can post photos and videos of your home online so only serious buyers have to enter your home.
- screening potential viewers for symptoms of COVID-19. You do not have to allow anyone into your residence if you feel that an individual may pose a risk to you. Your real estate professional can help draft questions to ask buyers, tenants, and their representatives about their health and travel information.
- getting acknowledgement of viewing conditions in writing. Work with your real estate professional to develop a list of conditions for viewings such as using gloves, masks or hand sanitizer, or limiting the number of people at any time or during a specific time period. Keep in mind that viewing terms are subject to negotiation between parties. Have your real estate professional put them in writing and require the buyers and their professionals to sign off on the agreed upon terms. Please always bear in mind, if you make the viewing conditions too strict, the potential buyers have the option to simply go looking for something else.
- communicating viewing conditions to property measurement companies, virtual tour companies and home inspectors. Some appraisals can also be done through virtual tours.
- taking extra precautions to clean and sanitize your home before and after any viewings or inspections. Discuss with your real estate professional who will be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing high-touch areas of your home before and after.
It’s important to have these discussions with your real estate professional so you can document all conditions in writing. Getting written confirmation and acknowledgement of conditions can ensure that all parties involved agree and understand the processes they need to follow to help mitigate the risk. This goes a long way to eliminating any confusion.