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To Show or Not to Show?

Posted August 7th, 2020 under pitfalls, smart selling.

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has many people frightened. If, for whatever reason, you’re planning to list your home for sale, there is one consideration above all others: safety!

To minimize risk, some brokerages and selling agents are asking buying agents to fill out a “COVID-19 questionnaire” before giving permission to show a property. Although this idea has some merit, it puts the buying agent into a precarious position should someone contract the virus. More importantly, it doesn’t really do anything to safeguard people.

Other agents ask for an accepted offer from the potential buyers before allowing them through. Many buyers aren’t willing to do this, since they have no way of knowing whether this is the home for them. This reduces the number of showings, and therefore potential exposure, but also shrinks the potential market for the home quite a bit.

A more prudent approach, if you plan to sell your home, is to be proactive about your safety and the safety of your potential buyers. In an ideal world, you would wipe down every surface with disinfectant after each showing. But when you think about all the surfaces a visitor might touch, the number is almost endless. Instead, concentrate on reducing the amount of contact in the first place.

Start by opening all (all) the doors inside the home, turning on all the lights, and leaving a note asking the buying agent and potential buyers to leave the lights and doors in their current state. This eliminates any need to touch two of the most-touched surfaces in the home, doorknobs and light switches.

That still leaves fridges, stoves, cupboards, kitchen drawers, faucets, and so many other places. And some of these need to be touched as part of a normal showing of the home!

You have the right to demand that anyone coming into your home wears a mask and gloves. I highly recommend that you (through your agent) provide disposable masks and gloves to visitors. This way, there’s no excuse and nobody can complain about your requirements.

You also have the right to ask that no children enter the home. Children naturally touch things and it’s safer for everyone if they simply remain outside.

Ideally, your selling agent should be at your property for all showings to enforce these rules.

By taking these proactive measures you can greatly reduce your risk of exposure to coronavirus. Then, after your potential buyers leave, you can wipe things down anyway.

Want to know more about showing your home? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.

--Peter

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