Not sure how to manage your open home or private inspection during Covid 19? We have all the answers for you.
We’ve been inundated with enquiries about what to do when it comes to open homes during Coronavirus.
These nine essential practices will ensure you comply with current health regulations while giving yourself, your family and those interested in your property greater protection.
1. Cancel Group Viewings
Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, group open homes have been banned by the Prime Minister, effective 25/03/20. If you already had open home times advertised with parties booked in, reach out to them personally to arrange private inspections at a time that is suitable for you both.
2. Offer digital inspections
As people become increasingly nervous about face-to-face contact (and to protect the spread of Covid 19), realestate.com.au has created an alternative to routine inspections during the Coronavirus called Digital Inspections. Simply film your property, highlighting its key features. Then, have your property video displayed within your inspections section of your rental or sales listing so interested buyers or tenants can see it without having to inspect in person.
See our tips on how to create a real estate video to showcase your property’s best features. We also offer 3D virtual tours as one of our advertising package add-on features. If you’re uncomfortable filming your own video tour, this could be a great option for you. It does require a professional photographer to enter and film your home, but the outcome in terms of quality will be superior to a self-made video tour.
3. Use FaceTime for viewings
FaceTime can be used to showcase your home to interested buyers or renters before they see it in person. This way, you’ll be able to pre-screen their health, while knowing they’re serious about your property. FaceTime offers the flexibility to discuss the features of your property as people view it - they may even see enough to make a decision while they stay at home.
4. Limit private inspection viewing numbers
While a virtual viewing will create interest, many buyers or renters will want to see your property in person before committing. With Covid 19 spreading so quickly, there’s no doubt private inspections are the most responsible option. However, it's still important you limit the number of people attending a private inspection. One way to do this is to implement a one-family-member-only rule for private appointments. If that family member likes what they see, they can send other family members to a second viewing.
5. Screen buyers and tenants
Before agreeing to meet with an interested buyer or tenant, ask them a few questions via phone or email to determine their risk factor for Covid 19:
- Do they have a fever or flu-like symptoms?
- Do they have any difficulty breathing?
- Have they recently been overseas?
- Have they been in contact with anyone diagnosed with Coronavirus?
You may also like to determine how serious they are about buying before agreeing to meet with them:
- Do they have finance approved?
- Have they sold their own property?
- Are they looking to buy immediately?
If you’re concerned about their health risk or readiness to buy, it’s better to be over-cautious and not agree to face-to-face contact. As symptoms can take several days to present themselves, your buyer or renter may not even be aware they’ve contracted Covid 19.
6. Be vigilant about germs
Across Australia, businesses and restaurants are protecting their staff and clientele through vigilant cleaning protocols. You can do the same when it comes to private inspections and viewings:
- Have hand-wash facilities, hand-sanitising or gloves handy at your entrance
- Wipe down door handles and taps before and after viewings with an anti-bacterial cleaner
- Promote healthy air flow within your home by opening windows, using air filters or turning on air conditioning
7. Put up signs promoting basic health practices
If you’re going to have random strangers in your home, you’ll want to remind them to use the recommended public health precautions:
- Cough into a tissue, discard tissue in bin and wash hands for 20 seconds
- Maintain a distance of 1 metre between yourself and another
- Don’t touch anything but door handles and taps
8. Adopt the Coronavirus handshake
The good old traditional handshake has been replaced with an elbow bump across the globe thanks to Coronavirus. And for good reason - hand to hand contact spreads germs quickly.
While an elbow bump may not be appropriate in this instance, your viewers are not going to be offended if you simply hold up your hand without touching them to greet them at your front door.
9. Lock up your valuables… including toilet paper
Believe it or not, some homeowners have encountered toilet paper thieves during inspections. While nobody could predict that toilet paper would be included in a household list of valuable items, it’s become a rare commodity that people will go to extreme measures to acquire. It’s always been a good idea to put away watches, jewellery and valuables during inspections – now, it appears, that list extends to toilet paper.