COVID-19: The rules to follow when visiting a property
In order to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19, visiting a house for sale must be done in compliance with hygiene and social distancing measures issued by public health authorities.
As long as the health situation so requires, it will be in the buyer’s and the seller’s best interest to hold their initial talks by phone, email or video call, before even planning a visit. The idea here is to make sure that the property truly meets the buyer’s budget and needs, for instance by talking about the desired occupancy date, the property’s features and mortgage prequalification.
Don’t hesitate to go over the listing together, including the photos, the 3D virtual tour (if available) and the property description. You can also think about showing the potential buyer around the place virtually, by video call.
Follow these hygiene measures
If the initial discussions look very promising, it’s time to make an appointment. However, it is strongly recommended to delay the visit if the buyer or someone they’ve been in contact with develops COVID-19 symptoms, is waiting to receive their test result and/or has travelled recently.
Here are the best practices to follow during the visit:
- Limit the number of people inside your home according to the alert level in force in your area.
- Maintain a 6-foot (2-metre) distance at all times.
- The owner should open doors and cupboards to keep visitors from touching them.
- All parties should wash their hands before and after the visit.
- Wearing a mask is recommended if social distancing is not possible.
The owner is also asked to disinfect bannisters and other possible contact surfaces in the property before the visitor arrives and after they leave.
The safest way to proceed is still to plan visits for prequalified buyers, but it is possible to attend an open house while respecting those health guidelines, with a few differences. For example, the owner may ask you to wait outside while other visitors finish their visit. To attend an open house safely, see all our recommandations.