Realtors ensure your safety
With strict COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing, it must be surprising that properties continue being listed and sold in the GTA. This prevailing market activity, although admittedly at less robust levels than the sizzling hot market of the pre-COVID period, is due to the fact that real estate is an essential service.
New protocols designed to ensure that buyers, sellers and realtors face as little risk as possible have been quickly adopted. Realtors had to get creative in showing listings to their clients, with most relying on digital technology like 3D tours, virtual home tours and video previews of listings. Apps for virtual home visits have become quite sophisticated, and sometimes properties are bought based on a virtual showing alone. However, buyers mostly still prefer to see their potential new home in person, and realtors have responded by taking steps to ensure the safety of all involved.
With showings starting up, many brokerages have COVID-19 disclosures in place with their clients. These documents confirm that in the last two weeks nobody travelled outside the country, had COVID-19 symptoms or had contact with anyone that showed these symptoms. Everyone must also agree not to use the washroom while in the home, not to bring extra family members, and to sanitize their hands before entering the house. In the COVID-19 era, everyone arrives at the showing separately, and realtors have extra masks on hand for the buyers. Realtors disinfect their hands, the lockbox and keys, and wear gloves to open and close all doors, turn on lights etc; this makes for a touch-less environment for their clients. Often, owners are asked to keep their children out of the house, and no more than two people are allowed in.
Buying a home has certainly changed because of COVID-19. Still, some changes are improvements to the home-buying process, and will likely become permanent. For instance, virtual showings do ensure that only serious buyers are actually taken through the house, after they’ve gone over the floor plans and virtual tours with their realtor. And this saves time for everyone concerned.