The current worldwide Covid19 pandemic is having a dramatic and unprecedented impact on the world, including real estate. Due to the novel nature of the disease, information related to the COVID-19 situation is continuously developing and market conditions are rapidly changing. The COVID-19 situation and the resulting response from federal, state, and local governments can impact the sale and purchase of property in several ways.
Based on CDC guidelines, COVID-19 can be spread through both person-to-person contact and contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Additionally, data suggests that many confirmed COVID-19 cases may have moderate to no symptoms but still be highly contagious. The inherent nature of many aspects of a real estate transaction (e.g., viewing a property, inspections, walk-through, etc.) may require contact with people involved in the transaction or contact with surfaces or objects that were previously contacted by someone else. Additionally, people that fall into an “at-risk” category have a significantly higher risk of serious illness caused by COVID-19.
Sellers looking to sell property during this COVID-19 pandemic should assume that every buyer that visits their property is infected with COVID-19. Both Buyers and Sellers are encouraged to take every precaution as prescribed by global, federal, state, and local governments and health organizations to protect themselves, their families, and the public. Such precautions include, but are not limited to:
- Do NOT allow showings of your property if someone occupying the property has tested positive for COVID-19, exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, or has been in close contact with a person diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19.
- Do NOT visit, preview, or show any property if someone in your party has tested positive for COVID-19, exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, or has been in close contact with a person diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19.
- ALWAYS wear masks while visiting any property and when in the presence of others at any property.
- Maintain six feet of distance between you and others that visit your property at all times.
- Sellers - Turn on all lights and open all bedroom doors and open some cabinet and closet doors to minimize items the buyer or buyer broker may need to touch.
- Buyers - ONLY your agent will open locks, doors, cabinets. Do not use the restroom or use sinks. Agent and Buyers will stay together while inside the property.
- Buyers - showing parties are limited to a maximum of 4 (3 + agent) and cannot include children.
- Buyers MUST at least: 1) wear masks and gloves at all times; 2) wash hands when first arriving and again when leaving the property; 3) do not touch anything in the property.
- Sellers must be careful not to include any requests or instructions that may discriminate based on a protected class in accordance with Fair Housing laws.
- Seller should thoroughly sanitize and disinfect the property upon reentry and additional showings.