What are we doing different during COVID-19? How are we selling homes safely?

First of all, in Ontario, real estate has been declared an essential service, so real estate transactions have never stopped during the state of emergency in Ontario. However, Health Officials have provided important guidance to help contain the spread of the virus including not to conduct open houses and to limit showing appointments and the number of people at showings to what is absolutely necessary.  These requirements have not changed (as of the writing of this blog post).

So what are we doing differently?

For Sellers:

Let me share, even before COVID-19, our marketing philosophy is that a buyer’s physical viewing of a home, should not be the first time they see a home.  A buyer should have seen the "pictures" first.  

Taking pictures is common for real estate, but we have been utilizing new technologies such as providing floor plans and 3D tours to give a much better viewing experience of the home and now we are also going to do video tours too!  

Side: A few years ago, I did a survey between 3D tours vs video tours and 3D tours was overwhelmingly chosen as a better and more accurate viewing experience, but there were some people that liked the video, so to appeal to as many people as possible (which is what marketing is all about), we are going to re-start video tours for homes that we have for sale.

Please remember that health officials want us limit showing appointments, so providing high quality professional photos, 3D tours, videos and floor plans is the best way to do this.  Using these four(4) tools, buyers can get a very good impression of a home and only the "serious" buyer will see the home.

Even before COVID-19, it would be disappointing to hear that the buyer did not like the layout because this is something that the buyer could have easily seen if they looked at the floor plan and/or 3D tour. So nowadays, more realtors in our industry our adopting similar technologies, all in an effort to minimize the number of appointments.

But we are doing more ...

We are also contacting each agent that books an appointment on a home for sale to ensure:

-       They have viewed ALL of the photos, 3D tour and floor plan and answer any questions / concerns
-       Their buyers are financially qualified and there are no issues with finances
-       Their closing date matches the Seller's
-       There are no health concerns:
o   They and their clients have not travelled within the past 14 days
o   No one is displaying COVID-19 symptoms including: fever, dry cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing in the last 14 days
o   No one has come in contact with anyone with an active confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 test in the last 14 days
-       They will not use the washroom facilities during the viewing nor touch anything
-       Only the buyers that plan to buy the home will visit the property; no additional family members or children
-       Everyone that enters the home has a mask and/or gloves (if necessary we will provide a wi-fi based security camera in the foyer to ensure other agents and their buyers are following these procedures)

Finally, we will also provide hand sanitizers or wipes or soap and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as needed and there are no double booking of appointments; only 1 set of buyers at a time.

For buyers:

We will provide PPE for all showing appointments and we will also go over the pictures, 3D tours, floor plan, history and land registry to identify any issues upfront (again, this is something we have always done).   Since this blog post is already long, I will share in more depth what we are doing differently for buyers during COVID-19.

Anyway, we are constantly exploring new technologies and ideas to see what works best in this current environment. If you have any questions / comments, please let us know

Albert Yu
Office: 416-494-9858


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