COVID-19 and Real Estate
COVID-19 and Real Estate
Under these current circumstances, we caution that it is not business as usual. REALTORS® have never been obligated to put themselves or their clients at risk and we need to be thoughtful in how to approach each situation to ensure we are safe and remain healthy.
Please refer to the COVID-19 page on the Government of Alberta website. This page is updated twice daily and will have the most current information applicable to Albertans.
A Conversation with Sellers
As sellers it’s important to assess your own risk based on your personal circumstances, especially if you are immunocompromised or have a pre-existing respiratory condition, and seek advice from healthcare professionals as necessary.
You’ll need to be aware that COVID-19 and strategies to mitigate it may impact the sale of your property for the time being. Self-isolation strategies could give potential buyers more time to focus on their property purchase, but they could also impact potential buyers’ desire to view properties or complete a purchase.
There are potential impacts of COVID-19 on the sale of your property. Let’s review the options that are available to you. These options could include:
- having you request health and recent travel information from potential buyers and their professionals before any showing to give the seller an indication of any risk. Buyers are obligated to either be truthful or simply decline to answer. You have no duty to show the property if you are uncomfortable with any presented risk
- creating a marketing video showing a tour of the house to reduce the number of viewings
- by offering a virtual video tour, you could then consider only allowing viewings for serious buyers who make an offer to purchase subject to a viewing
- make viewings conditional on buyer’s and their representatives wearing nitrile gloves or the use of anti-microbial, alcohol-based hand sterilizer
- a plan to clean doorknobs, cupboard hardware, light switches, as well as surfaces in areas like bathrooms and kitchens before and after each showing
- taking all precautions necessary, including cleaning and sanitizing the home before and after an open house or any home inspections
You also have the option to temporary pull your property off the market.
The property may also be pulled off the market by terminating the listing entirely and entering into, and signing, a new agreement to re-list the property at a future date.
Consider how property inventory and/or prices may be affected during the current pandemic before pulling the property off the market. A Current Market Analysis for your property should be prepared and reviewed to help you make the best decision now.
A Conversation with Buyers
As buyers (as with sellers) it’s important to assess your own risk based on your personal circumstances, especially if you are immunocompromised or have a pre-existing respiratory condition, and seek advice from healthcare professionals as necessary.
COVID-19 and strategies to mitigate it may impact your property searches for the time being. Self-isolation strategies could impact how properties are being marketed, if in-person viewings are available, or whether the sellers keep the property on the market.
There are potential impacts of COVID-19 on processes around viewing properties and we want to present options for mitigating risk to the health of all parties. These options could include:
- request health and recent travel information from potential sellers and their professionals before any viewing. Sellers are obligated to either be truthful or simply decline to answer. The seller also has the right to request this information of you and can decline to show the property if they choose
- travelling in separate vehicles to viewings to limit the amount of time spent in close proximity to each other
- take advantage of virtual video tours for initial viewings of properties, understanding that some sellers may require an offer to purchase before viewings, to limit viewers to motivated buyers
- only viewing properties that you are genuinely considering purchasing
- taking precautions during viewings, including wearing nitrile gloves or using alcohol-based, anti-microbial hand sanitizer, and not touching, doorknobs, cupboard hardware, light switches or other surfaces unless necessary
- FOOD FOR THOUGHT... Please contact me if you have any questions.