Protocols for Returning to Operation
It has been a challenging time for everyone these last few months, and some restrictions are being lifted in BC. But what does this mean for resuming viewings in the BC real estate market?
Social distancing is still of course in effect, and employers are required to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan that outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures they have put in place to reduce the risk of transmission. This means identifying protocols that everyone at the workplace must follow to keep people safe.
Whenever possible, real estate professionals should continue to correspond with clients and potential buyers through email, telephone, or video/teleconference. We must use technology to draft and execute any written service agreements, or standard forms including electronic signatures for documents.
Potential buyers need to be provided with online access to property documents including strata documents, market research, and community development documents
Virtual viewings need to be offered wherever possible. This also eliminates the need to see house after house, which could be a positive in general for the real estate business even when restrictions are further eased. It is important to note that a virtual viewing should not replace viewing the property in person when it is a purchasing decision.
When a virtual viewing is not possible, there are numerous guidelines to be followed, including:
- Providing handwashing facilities at the front door and generally observing good hygiene habits of washing hands frequently and coughing into an elbow and using a disposable tissue when sneezing
- Prohibiting anyone with COVID-like symptoms from coming near the property
- Limiting the people allowed at the property
- No shaking hands with anyone and no sharing of stationery such as pens and pencils.
- If a property is occupied, the tenants are requested not to be present during a viewing
- Ensure that handling of property keys are coordinated so that physical contact is not required
- If possible, request that current occupants or landlord disinfect frequently touched surfaces prior to any viewings
It will be a very different experience buying and selling homes for the next few months at least, but it is all done in the name of safety and protecting people. Be patient when dealing with these changes and try to adapt to this new normal.
For a real estate team that will follow all protocols to keep you safe and still deliver excellent service, contact us today.