Here at Remax Way of Dedham, MA – we wanted to provide our home buyers and sellers with some frequently asked questions regarding the real estate market during the coronavirus pandemic.The Watson Team
Is Now the Time to Buy or Sell A Home?
There is no doubt that this is an unusual time to be buying or selling a home. However, it is NOT impossible. The National Association of Realtors has assembled the following FAQs to assist today’s buyers and sellers. The are as follows:
Can a realtor, buyer or seller ask if any individual has traveled recently, or have any signs of respiratory illness?
Yes! All parties involved should ask one another about their recent travel, particularly to areas identified as having an increased risk of coronavirus. To avoid potential fair housing issues, we will ask all clients the same screening questions based on current, factual information from public health authorities.
I typically drive my clients to showings. May I refuse to drive potential clients to see homes?
Yes. Remax Way will develop a policy that we will apply equally to all of our clients. We may refuse to drive clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent travel to areas of increased risk of coronavirus, or we may instead decide to stop driving clients in our car altogether, and simply arrange to meet clients at our listings. If we do continue to drive clients in our cars, we intend to frequently clean and disinfect all surfaces like door handles and seat belt latches. We will also be asking clients to use hand sanitizer when getting in and out of the car.
Should open houses still be conducted?
We will speak openly and honestly with our sellers about the pros and cons of holding an open house. We will assess the risk based on specific locations, and we will direct our clients to local and state health authorities for specific information about the severity of the risk in the listing area. We might also propose alternative marketing opportunities for your seller’s consideration, such as video tours and other methods for virtual tours of a property. If we do hold an open house, all visitors will be required to disinfect their hands upon entering the home. We will limit the number of people in the home and will schedule time between visitors to allow for disinfecting the home. We will be providing alcohol-based hand sanitizers at the entryway, as well as soap and disposable towels in bathrooms. If you are one of our sellers, we will be sure to check with you, in advance, about any products we would use for cleaning and disinfecting. After the open house, we recommend you immediately clean and disinfect your home again. Especially commonly touched areas like doorknobs and faucet handles.
What precautions will we be taking in our office?
We will be asking all of sales agents to user their best judgment when formulating a plan. First, we will be implementing a mandatory “stay-home” policy for any staff member or agent exhibiting any sign of illness. We will also be imposing a mandatory remote work policy for employees and instructing agents to stay out of the office. In addition, taking measures such as holding virtual meetings or potentially postponing or canceling in-person meetings or events are some measures we will be taking to limit close contact between individuals. We will also be performing regular environmental cleaning with special attention paid to frequently touched surfaces.
We will be monitoring updates from the CDC, as well as our state and local health authorities for additional information and guidance on holding meetings or events.
Finally, we recommend that home sellers and buyers do not panic, stay informed, and use your best judgment. The situation is rapidly changing, so focus on putting policies and procedures in place to keep our employees and clients informed, and safe, while avoiding business disruption. Should the situation worsen, so will our policies. The CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (link is external) is a helpful resource.