Monday, March 30, 2020

Helena Association of REALTORS® takes the healthy, safety and welfare of our members, our clients and the public very seriously. 

After reviewing the Governor’s Directive, it has been determined that the real estate industry has been designated as essential.  We have made the following suggestions regarding how to handle showings and other related activities*: 

If you are the listing agent, maintain at your listings a supply of disposable booties (shoe covers), disposable gloves, and hand sanitizer. If you are a buyers agent, keep a supply in your vehicle when showing properties. Meet clients at each showing rather than having them ride in your vehicle.

If your seller clients report any household members experiencing symptoms of illness, have traveled in the past two weeks, or have possibly come into contact with anyone positive for COVID-19, postpone showings until a two-week clear window has passed. Also, request (preferably in writing) that the seller clean and disinfect all areas used by the ill person, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.

For all showings, advise sellers to leave all lights on and interior doors open. Instruct sellers to sanitize surfaces prior to leaving the house, before each showing, before a home inspection, before an appraiser enters the home, and to sanitize again immediately upon returning to the home.

Agents and buyer clients should sanitize hands before entering each home and keep a healthy distance while inside the house. Do not touch light switches, cabinets pulls or doorknobs unless wearing gloves. Do not remove shoes but rather wear booties and take them with you when you leave. Use clean disposable booties and gloves for each home visited. Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds or use hand sanitizer immediately upon leaving the home.

If your buyer clients report any household members experiencing symptoms of illness, have traveled in the past two weeks, or have possibly come into contact with anyone positive for COVID-19, postpone showings until a two-week clear window has passed and specific permission has been granted by the seller. Naturally, unoccupied homes may involve lighter protocol.

Alternatively, offer to do FaceTime showings to limit the number of visitors in a home. Or, produce a listing video to share with prospective buyers. On that note, we recommend postponing open houses or using an alternate virtual platform such as Facebook Live or Zoom.

Express to your clients that their safety and well-being is our number one priority and if they are more comfortable postponing listings or showings, we will support their decision. 

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this time. Buyers are eager to capitalize on low interest rates, and sellers want to sell! With vigilance and thoughtfulness, we will soon look forward to resuming a healthy and prosperous real estate season. 

*Please consult reputable resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and implement additional measures you deem prudent or as instructed by your brokerage.

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