COVID-19 and Real Estate Showings in the Hudson Valley - Update
It has been a while. Well, for me at least it feels like forever. I want to start out by saying that I hope you are all staying safe and well during these tumultuous times. Things are weird. I was sick for about two weeks with some pretty hefty Coronavirus symptoms, but I have fully recovered. At this point it is unknown if I had it or not but it's safe to assume I did. I self isolated for about two and a half weeks where I did nothing but work and play lots and lots of Animal Crossing. But you don't want to hear about the drama going on between Reneè and Melba on my Island (there's a different blog for that), you want to hear about Real Estate! ...Maybe!
If you don't know by now that real estate has basically been driven to a halt for the past two weeks, well then, surprise! Currently, buyers agents are not allowed to show houses in person to any clients. In my opinion, it was the right move taken by Governor Cuomo. While my business may suffer during this time, my clients' safety is paramount. On that note, I'd like to briefly share an update from the Governor about current Coronvirus news before going into the update from my company:
New York launched a new COVID-19 tracker, with detailed county-by-county information on confirmed cases. The website is updated daily with the latest data.
Thousands of therapists have signed up to offer free emotional support to New Yorkers who are struggling with the mental health impact of this pandemic. Call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to get free emotional support, consultations and referrals to a provider.
More than 85,000 volunteers from New York and across the country have answered our call to join New York's surge healthcare force. We are awed by the heroism and selflessness of these volunteers. If you are interested in joining, enlist here.
NYS has a message for victims of domestic violence during this stressful time: You Are Not Alone. If you are in a dangerous domestic situation, NYS will help you find safe shelter. You are not trapped just because of Coronavirus. Call 1-800-942-6906.
Now, we all know that Real Estate can't stay closed forever, so what are we doing in the meantime? Well. Here at J Philip Real Estate we have worked out a way to help our buyers continue to see houses if both they and the sellers agree and are comfortable with it. Our broker has just supplied us with a waiver that every party involved needs to sign for each house. That includes the agents on both sides as well as the buyer and seller. Once that is fully executed, the buyer has authorization to go directly to the property unaccompanied by their buyer's agent where the seller may leave the door open for them and vacate the premises during the showing.
I prefer that my buyers FaceTime me or have me on the phone during the showing so that I can answer any questions that pop up or direct them to check specific things that I may look for during a showing like electric panels, checking the water pressure, etc. There are specific terms that each person present during the showing must agree to in the waiver about their physical health and any COVID-19 specific tests conducted to ensure safety for all parties. Additionally, home inspections have been deemed essential, which is separate from this waiver, but we are urging our buyers to not attend, which is the exact opposite of what I typically say. There are ways for you to stay in the loop during the inspection. Josh Stone over at Stone Home Inspections, for example, will FaceTime you during the entirety of the home inspection so that you can go along with him virtually and see everything that he does. This is the perfect way to keep you safe and informed at the same time.
Now, during these showings we want best practices to be followed by both the buyer and seller. I'm going to list a few below:
Sellers should leave all doors open and all lights on that way buyers don't need to touch anything unnecessarily.
Buyers should either wash their hands directly upon entering the house or have hand sanitizer with them if it hasn't been prepared by the seller.
Sellers should leave a box of shoe covers by the door so buyers can utilize them.
Buyers should wear gloves (and masks if you have them) throughout the showing if you aren't washing your hands at the start of each showing, be sure to change them at each house.
Sellers should clean and disinfect surfaces between each showing. COVID-19 isn't an airborne virus, but spraying the air with a disinfectant can't hurt!
Buyers should not bring any other people to showings other than those who will be living in the house. We advise taking a video if there isn't a video tour available to show your parents or whoever you might want to bring by. Great uncle Oscar has to stay home.
Buyers and Sellers should refrain from interacting during showings. Even if you're 6 feet apart. Please. We beg you.
So, if you're a buyer out there and you want to be seeing homes right now, give me a call. We want to help you but we also need to be doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. What we have come up with is a best of both worlds scenario. Buyers and sellers who are not comfortable going out or letting people into their homes will not have to do anything. If you prefer to stay home or keep people out of yours, that is your right and we will never try to convince you otherwise. This is strictly for those buyer and sellers who feel comfortable to continue showings and those who need to because of job relocations, legal reasons, ending leases, etc.
If you have questions, my cell is 914-494-0141 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org please do not hesitate if you have any questions. We are here to help.
Stay safe and wishing you well,
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
J Philip Real Estate, LLC.