We are in a different world. A world of masks, hand sanitizer, handwashing, and temperature taking. But, even with all of these changes, life must resume. For some, this means that it is time to purchase a new home. In prior times this meant, searching online, visiting in-person open houses on Sunday (without an appointment), checking out the neighbors as they engage outside, and going on lots of showings. Today you may drive a neighborhood without leaving the car, have a tour without leaving your home, or sanitize up for a one-on-one showing with no more than two people in a home at a time. Today’s search can be a little different, and as searching and moving can be a source of stress, I have found that it is important to be prepared, and there are a few things you should know when shopping for a home today.
- Plan ahead. Most home showing, well at least the ones in person require advance notice and a COVID release form to enter the house. The more you plan ahead to schedule your day, the more effective and efficient you can be with your time.
- Sanitation. While many houses today are equipped with shoe covers and hand sanitizer, it is best to have your own supplies handy. Make sure that you bring a mask, and hand sanitizer. Some home shoppers also feel comfortable with eye coverings, and a glove or cloth to touch and open doors without added exposure. If the home offers shoe covers, wear them as you do not want to bring home any additional unknown germs. Plastic grocery bags also make great disposable shoe covers if ever in a pinch.
- Don’t bring everyone. Some showings in person have limitations to the people that can enter a home at the same time. So it is best to get a babysitter and check out the place on your own. Now, I know that home shopping can be a fun experience and a life-changing event that you want to share with your parents, best friend, siblings, and neighbor, but it may be a good idea to wait on the group tour.
- Virtual tours are a thing. Many realtors are offering safe virtual tours or virtual open houses, where you can see a video of the home, or even face time an agent that will walk the home for you. So, if you find yourself in a circumstance that you are safest inside, many real estate agents are ready and able to accommodate this need and still find you the perfect home.
- Don’t tour homes if unwell. Please cancel your in-person tour if you or someone in your home is feeling unwell, has a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or has been exposed to COVID-19.
No matter where you live or where you are moving, COVID has quickly become an obstacle for everyday life. While staying home is the safest way to avoid exposure there are ways that you can take precautions. Fortunately, you can still see homes of interest with virtual and 3D tours, or even real in-person visits. There are things you can do to protect yourself and those around you. Social distancing and the coronavirus don’t have to stop your search for the perfect home.