How We're Helping Clients Stay Safe During COVID-19
Updated November 26, 2020
We are open and ready to help; whether you need a totally contact-free experience, would like to limit contact, or are comfortable with physically distant meetings, we can and have done it all and will happily adapt our process to meet your needs.
The city of Edmonton mandated the use of masks in public spaces on August 1 (and most surrounding areas followed suit shortly after), and the Provincial Government mandated the wearing of masks in indoor spaces. A house could be considered a workspace during a showing, so you'll need to wear masks during showings and meetings with your agent and maintain physical distance. We've helped hundreds of clients buy and sell homes safely in the past few months, and in our experience, buyers, and sellers in the Edmonton area have been very conscientious and flexible.
The Alberta Real Estate Association issued this notice on November 25th:
"We are reinstituting a ban on all in-person open houses for REALTORS® as professional service providers. Showings can continue with appointment only and limited to two family-unit members at a time."
Here are some of the ways we can help you stay safe:
Contactless or Physically Distanced Listings
Traditionally, listing your home for sale with a real estate agent involves inviting a few agents to tour your home and discuss marketing, pricing, fees, and other services, so you can decide who you'd like to work with. Depending on your level of comfort, we can easily adjust our process. For example, for a completely contactless experience, you could tour us through your home via video chat, and we could discuss pricing, marketing and more via a Zoom We also could view your home in person, wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance, and then meet online. Our brokerage uses DocuSign e-signatures to complete all contracts, and updates on your listing can be provided by email, phone call or video chat.
If and when it comes time to list your home, you have complete control over how you want buyers to view the home. Our single-property websites include a 3D virtual tour, photos and a floorplan, which we can ask potential buyers to view before showings to help reduce the number of buyers that want to see your home in person. We always recommend that no one is home during showings. Masks are required for showings, and there is a limit of two family members allowed to attend a home showing at a time. We can ask buyers and their agents to complete a "COVID Questionnaire" before showings. Buyers still want to see homes in person, so if you would like to sell your home, you need to be prepared to have buyers and their agents coming through your home, but if you leave the lights on and interior doors open, we can limit the amount of contact that occurs.
Virtual Open Houses
Although in person open houses are not an option at this time, virtual open houses have become an effective marketing tool; we can get hundreds of viewings online instead of having just a few people attend an open house in person. A virtual open house is basically just a live video tour of your home that is broadcasted online - we can even broadcast on Facebook and YouTube simultaneously.
Contactless Showings or Limited Contact Showings
Don't take offence when we don't shake your hand - during COVID our agents maintain physical distance during all client interactions and are wearing masks. They may provide hand sanitizer and/or gloves, but it's recommended you bring your own. Most listings also have hand sanitizer inside the entry. Only two family-unit members may attend a showing at one time. We ask that you don't bring children. We also ask that you don't touch anything. We will ask you to complete a hold harmless form, and some sellers and/or their brokerages may require additional forms or questionnaires to be completed before you view a home.
Some clients opt for “virtual showings” where an agent walks through the property and shows the client the home over FaceTime, Skype or something similar. We can draw your eye to things that you should be aware of, tell you about noises or smells, and point out any things that might perfectly match your check-list. After viewing homes virtually, you may be able to narrow down the homes you need to see in person and take extra precautions when that time comes.
Note that almost all of our listings have 3D tours that allow you to walk through them on your computer or mobile device.
We have also been busy scheduling many Virtual Coffee Dates and Online Buyer Consultations with people looking for personalized guidance on how to proceed (or not proceed) at this time, given all that we know. Contact us anytime for an online meeting to discuss your questions.
Back in March and April, agents, mortgage brokers and lawyers were scrambling trying to find ways to get deals closed. Now, we've got it all figured out. Some real estate lawyers are meeting with clients over video chat, or passing documents back and forth through car windows for signing, or taking other precautions. There has been a slight increase in the number of closing issues, but for the most part, deals are still going together.
Our Office is Open by Appointment Only
Our agents have always worked from home so there is no change there, except all of our training sessions and meetings have moved online. We are frequently meeting with our agents and staff online to ensure that they are briefed on all changes pertaining to COVID-19. We have reduced our in-office staff to maintain physical distancing. If you need to pick up or drop something off and prefer not to enter the office, call our office number when you arrive (780-486-8655), and a staff member will come to your car. We also have a mail slot at our back door where you can leave mail – do not drop cheques or any other valuable items in our mail sPleaselease see the Real Estate Council of Alberta’s “COVID-19 Information for Real Estate Consumers” for more information page.
Please feel free to contact us anytime through our website, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 780-486-8655 or contact your agent directly. Knowledge is power, and if we can help share what we do know, to help calm your fears, provide you with valuable insight into the Edmonton Real Estate Market and how this will impact you, we’re happy to share our expertise. No conversation is too small or unimportant; if you would simply like to know if ‘now’ is the right time for you, or would just like to know what’s going on with real estate in Edmonton, let’s discuss that and your best options.