What we are doing to keep clients safe during COVID-19 pandemic.
Author: Meryl Hamdillah is a licensed REALTOR with Sutton WestCoast Group and an active community writer in Tri-Cities and Vancouver. If you’re planning to buy or sell real estate in Tri-Cities or Metro Vancouver areas or you want to stay up to date in real estate market, feel free to call or text 604-307-9506
We are taking small steps during Phase 2 of the COVID-19 plan.
While more people get use to lockdown procedures like masks, sanitization procedures, and contact tracing procedures; there are still buyers who are cautious at viewing homes and sellers who are cautious about opening their homes to random buyers. As working parents, we understand and as a result, we have come up with our own safety measure and protocols to ensure the safety of those who we come in contact with whether it may be during a private viewing or inspection. Here are some of many steps that we’ve taken during phase 2 of the COVID-19 plan.
A few things to consider……
Safety during private viewings
Prior to viewings, we have put measures in place where everyone who is in attendance of viewings must acknowledge that they do not exhibit covid-19 symptoms and that they have been in isolation for at least 14 days if they have travelled prior to visit. This also includes realtors and contractors involved. We also recommend arriving separately and limiting your group of visitors as much as possible. During the viewing, we also now require that masks are worn on every viewing and that only the agent involved be responsible to touch and open all doors, cupboards, and any surfaces. We suggest new gloves are worn during the visit because we all have natural tendency to touch as we view.
Longer subject removal periods
A typical real estate transaction usually takes anywhere between 3 to 7 business days but in current conditions, it will take longer. Longer periods are expected due to reduced staff as well as the number of parties involved that will have delays as they learn to adopt Dr. Bonnie Henry’s recommendations. For this reason, we are negotiating for additional time to accomodate these delays and working even more closely with our lenders, mortgage brokers and inspectors to ensure that our clients are able to fulfill their legal obligations within the agreed time frame.
Open Houses are discontinued but private viewings are still available
While open houses are currently strongly discouraged during this phase of the pandemic, private viewings are still being requested as mortgage interest rates continue to be low. Here are some methods that we’re doing to keep everyone safe:
1) We offer a wide-range of alternatives to viewing in person. Depending on the home seller’s preferences, we’ve been able to offer live video viewing tours with Zoom, Facebook, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet/Hangout, and others.
2) We have a more vigorous screening process for in person viewing requests. This allows us to make sure that the home matches the buyer needs even before an in person viewing schedule. In addition, we also request that all visitors sign an acknowledgement and provide contact information for safe medical and social contact traceability.
3) We assist our sellers and buyers by arranging to have basic sanitizing products like gloves, sanitizer, wipes and requests that the listing realtors with gloves assist with all surface contact during the visit – like opening doors, ovens, windows, blinds, etc. This protects the sellers families as well as the visitors.
4) We encourage our clients to use personal masks and gloves on all our showings.
What we are doing to help our communities
Meryl understands that we need to work together to provide shelter and safety to our families.
Helping our front line workers
To help relief shortage of protective shields and masks, we’ve been helping to manufacture and distribute stop-gap protective shields and masks to people who work in care facilities, hospitals, and the RCMP.
Building a sense of community
As a working parent and active member of the Parent Advisory Council, Meryl also understands how important it is having a sense of community for working parents and children especially at a time when schools are closed. For this reason, Meryl works closely with several education providers and BC teachers to deliver both free and affordable online programs for children in Tri-City (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody) community.
Educating sellers and buyers
We are constantly educating our clients with changes on how COVID-19 can impact a buyer and seller in terms of their risks and liabilities. For example, since COVID-19, B.C was declared to be in a state of emergency. As a result, landlords are no longer able to end tenancy if a tenant does not pay their rent in full or on time and tenants are not able to face eviction until the state of emergency is over. Because of the current situation, we’ve helped clients understand what it means to buy or sell a tenanted property in the current environment.