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Coronavirus Update: Safety First with Your Real Estate Needs

March 24, 2020 — As we all deal with coronavirus and its impact on our communities, we wanted to reassure our clients that we are taking your health and safety seriously and are adhering to CDC guidelines, while continuing to help our clients with their real estate needs.

Despite what is going on in the world, we understand that our buyer and seller clients have various real estate needs right now — with some under contract or in the middle of a transaction, some currently with homes listed, some in the midst of serious house hunting, or some with intentions to buy or sell in the coming months.

No matter what stage you may be at – we are here to help you make the best decision for your circumstances.

And we can’t emphasize this enough, but we are in this together and are taking steps to make sure all of us – sellers, buyers and agents — stay healthy and safe during this time, especially for those who will continue to move forward with their plans to buy and/or sell.

Keeping Us All Safe

The coronavirus situation is evolving daily and we will stay abreast of any changes to the CDC guidelines and any government orders in the DMV area. We will keep you updated on how it could impact your real estate plans.

We have implemented our own new procedures to protect you and keep everyone healthy and safe so that we can move forward and help our clients, whether they need to finalize upcoming transactions, want to begin a serious search for a home, or want to continue listing their home.

We are not having clients visit any real estate offices, and we are working from home as best we can.  However, when we do interact in person we will adhere to the social distancing guideline of six feet.

Our New Safety Procedures

We have undertaken some new procedures and guidelines which you can review below for your specific real estate needs:

Under Contract: For our existing clients that are under contract, we are doing everything we can to make sure that all parties have a contingency in place in case there needs to be a delay of settlement.

So far, delays have not needed to occur, as recording offices are open.  This may change in the future, and to protect our clients, we are having written contingencies signed by all parties and also part of the contract.

Settlements: These must still occur in person but settlement companies have asked for signatories only in the room.  Although we always attend settlements and would love to be there with you, we can no longer be there in person.  We will, however, attend via phone.

And, as usual, we will review all of your settlement documents together over the phone prior to your settlement day to make sure you are knowledgeable and confident about what you are signing.

The settlement offices now have strict new guidelines for settlements, which include each person being required to sanitize their hands upon entering the room.  No paper checks are being provided, wire deposits only.

Settlements are done quickly, avoiding the usual pleasantries and conversations to get in and out as promptly as possible.  Only one pen can be used per person, and it is wiped down and given to you rather than a jar of pens in the middle of the room.

Seller Clients: Adhering to social distancing guidelines for our seller interactions has proven challenging and we are evolving as we go.  Currently, here is what to expect:

  • Through the month of April, we are only listing vacant properties. We feel this is the responsible thing to do to protect your health.  This policy could change and we may decide not to list any properties at all during the month of April.  We are working with our current seller clients to make decisions that are best for everyone.
  • In lieu of public houses open houses, we will be offering virtual open houses. What does that mean?  It means during your normal open house hours, we will be at the house ready to answer FaceTime or Zoom calls with any buyer who is interested in touring the home.
  • As usual, buyers can come with their agents anytime by appointment only.
  • Signs will be placed at each property requesting that no one touch anything in the home. To support that effort, we are asking sellers to leave lights on and keep things like closet doors open.
  • We will have disposable gloves at each property and request that they be put on during the showing. There will also be a bottle of hand sanitizer at each property. This procedure is in place since there may be times that someone touches something accidentally or needs to touch something that we didn’t expect. We can’t control 100% of everything and we are ensuring that there is another level of protection in each home.
  • We also request that no client or customer with known virus symptoms in their household come inside the property for the showing.
  • We are willing to offer video streaming tours or have a virtual appointment for any interested buyers who cannot attend in person.

 Buyer Clients:  Adhering to social distancing guidelines for our buyer interactions has proven challenging and we are evolving as we go.  Currently, here is what to expect:

  • Unfortunately, we can no longer drive together to showings. We will meet at properties instead and drive ourselves separately to each appointment.
  • We are requesting that only clients who must move within the next 30-60 days engage in showings, and that the properties only be true contenders that we see. We are also asking that decision makers only attend showings, no family friends or family members who are not signing the contract.
  • We will be social distancing and stay 6 feet apart during the showing. This feels odd, but it’s for the best.
  • Because of low supplies and the uncertainty of its availability at times, we ask that you please bring your own hand sanitizer. Of course, you can use ours if you do not have any, but we are trying to have ours last since we are out and about more than most.
  • We will be wearing latex-free gloves to all showings and bring you a pair to wear as well.
  • We will have Clorox wipes with us at all times.
  • As usual, we will only show to our buyer clients who are pre-approved.
  • If you like a home you’ve seen online and don’t want to go out, we can FaceTime you from the home ourselves. We’ve done this for years for clients living out of the area.
  • We often leave our client showings with hugs or handshakes. Right now, we are doing jazz hand waving only from six feet back.

Our team is working from home and in lieu of meetings that normally would be held in person, such as new buyer initial consultations and new seller appointments, we will now “meet” via Zoom instead of in person.

Again, this is an evolving situation and likely will change.  Now more than ever, we hope you stay healthy, stay safe, and we thank you for understanding our current policies. This benefits everyone as we meet your real estate needs.

Please never hesitate to reach out to us with your questions or concerns at any time.