How We're Helping Clients Stay Safe During COVID-19
Updated August 25, 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), but this does not necessarily mean masks must be worn inside private residences. 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.
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 call. Or, we 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. We can require masks for showings, provide hand sanitizer and limit the number of people allowed in your home at one 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 or "By Appointment Only" Open Houses
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 broadcast on Facebook and YouTube simultaneously. If you're certain you want to have an in-person open house, there are protocols that need to be followed such as limiting the number of people in your home, and requiring that they call or text the agent hosting the open house to gain entry. Since an open house is considered a commercial operation, all attendees must wear masks to comply with local bylaws. Another option is to host an open house where appointments in advance are necessary.
Contactless Showings or Limited Contact Showings
Don't take offence when we don't shake your hand - during COVID our agents are maintaining 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. During a showing we ask that you limit the number of people you bring - the more people in attendance, the harder it is to maintain a distance, especially in small spaces. 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 are opting 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 issues at closing, but for the most part, deals are still going together.
Our Office is Open
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 meeting with our agents and staff frequently to ensure that they are briefed, on any and 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, simply 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 slot.
For more information, please see the Real Estate Council of Alberta’s “COVID-19 Information for Real Estate Consumers” page.
Please feel free to contact us anytime through our website, by email at email@example.com, 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.