Better Living Real Estate of MA, NH & RI
Better Living Real EstateĀ®

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Better Living Real Estate COVID-19 Protocol

COVID-19 Real Estate Protocol and Disclosure

Updated March 23, 2020 by Better Living Real Estate®

 

Better Living Real Estate® is providing this COVID-19 Disclosure of Protocols for Health & Safety pertaining to Real Estate Services to inform you of our measures to address the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic.  As of March 11, 2020 Better Living Real Estate® instituted protocols for our clients and real estate licensees. We are following government guidelines and published our written COVID-19 Protocols on our website as well as created this digital copy.  Our Protocols may change and evolve as new government guidelines and requirements are released and enforced in the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where Better Living Real Estate® Associates are licensed and providing services to our clients.  

Where this disclosure and our policies may become outdated or in conflict with new or updated government response and guidance for the health and safety of the general public, we advise all clients, consumers and real estate licensees follow government guidelines.  Better Living Real Estate® will be updating and amending our COVID-19 Protocols and disclosure from time to time to comply with best practices, industry guidelines, government regulations, government guidelines and recommendations from health experts including The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Federal Government Advises to Limit Gatherings as of March 18, 2020:  In accordance with guidelines to limit people gathering in groups, and to comply with “social distancing requests by our government,” Better Living Real Estate® COVID-19 protocols advise all real estate professionals, clients and consumers to schedule individual showing appointments to visit a property with their Better Living Real Estate® Associate and not attend or host a public open house while government requests for social distancing are in effect.  When visiting a property, please follow the guideline below.

 

Better Living Real Estate’s Quick Guidelines & Recommendations for a Healthy and Safe Real Estate Experience

  • Local, State & Federal government orders and guidelines should be followed. Be sure to check with your municipality to see if they have specific rules for hosting open houses and real estate. Some municipalities have issued temporary restrictions. Example: Worcester, MA COVID-19 Guide for Real Estate Sales Professionals.

  • We recommend suspending open houses while social distancing orders are in place.  Open houses typically involve 10 or more people visiting a property at the same time, which does not comply with government social distancing guidelines. Open houses should resume, based on updated government social distancing guidelines and resumption of restaurant openings.

  • If a buyer or occupant of a home being sold is sick, do not show or view that property.  Observe 14 day quarantine CDC  guidelines.

  • Greet people with a wave and smile; please do not “shake hands” or “fist bump.”  Observe social distancing with 10 feet of separation when walking through a property. 

  • Do not congregate at an entry door; give space and observe social distancing. Allow your Better Living Real Estate® Associate to unlock and open the entry door while observing social distancing and standing 10 feet away.  Once the door is opened, enter the property one at a time, while continuing to observe social distancing during your walk through.

  • Better Living Real Estate® will request sellers leave the property with all lights turned on and doors opened, including closets, bathrooms, bedrooms and basements so that visitors do not need to touch door knobs. 

  • All visitors to a property should be advised not to touch surfaces, doors, or door knobs if at all possible.  This helps keep homes safe for the occupants and other visitors.

  • Please do not bring food or drinks into a property.

  • Do not use bathrooms or faucets when at or visiting a property.

  • Better Living Real Estate® complies with all Fair Housing Laws.

 

Additional Guidance information

 

Showing a Property to Buyers

Whether you are a Buyer or Seller, it’s important to know that many homes and properties have traditionally been purchased and sold without visiting or hosting an open house.  It is normal real estate professional practice to have interested buyers make private showing requests and schedule individual visits to a property that’s for sale. At this time, Better Living Real Estate® Associates are actively working with our clients to schedule showings (a.k.a. viewing a property by an eligible buyer) by appointment only.

Open Houses are a convenient way for sellers to expose their home to a greater number of consumers at a specific and predetermined time.  Over the last few years, open houses have been an opportunity to introduce a property to the market, drive higher initial consumer traffic and solicit offers.  Buyers and sellers had become used to scheduling their weekends around the open house schedules advertised by real estate agents. This however is not necessary.  Real estate agents and sellers are typically very agreeable to allow buyer visits at a time and date that is convenient to the buyer, seller and real estate agent(s).  This requires requesting, scheduling and coordinating an appointment through the buyer’s agent and seller’s agents. Real estate agents are trained to assist consumers with this task and personally accompany buyers to any property they are interested in viewing.

Open Houses have been held during cold and flu seasons in the past.  Some government agencies, Realtor® Associations and health professionals have advised against or made it mandatory to stop hosting open houses due to heightened concern over COVID-19 and having too many people congregate inside rooms and buildings.  Recommendations for your health and safety are to observe social distancing guidelines and government requirements.

Once government and health authorities update and remove their social distancing guidelines, resumption of open house hosting and visits will be normalized.  For our seller clients, we ask that you speak with your professionally trained Better Living Real Estate® Associate about how to expose your property to interested buyers. 

 

When viewing a property, please follow these instructions:

  • When scheduling a viewing, ask if any occupants of the home or the attending agent has any signs of illness prior to viewing or entering a property.  If an illness is identified, do not view the house.

  • Better Living Real Estate® will request sellers leave the property with all lights turned on and doors opened, including closets, bathrooms, bedrooms and basements so that visitors do not need to touch door knobs.

  • Upon entry, view a property with your hands in your pockets to prevent from touching any parts of the interior of a property.  Use stairway handrails only if needed.  Do not touch door knobs.
    • For parents of small children, this is particularly important since many children enjoy walking around and touching areas of a house as they explore.  It is important for parents to keep their children close and for the children to see parents practicing safe viewing protocols.
    • If children do not need to enter the home, and there are two parents or adult guardians at the property, then each adult can view the property individually, one at a time, and the other can take turns watching and entertaining the children in the exterior yard or family vehicle.  Keeping children safe is a priority.

  • Observe Social Distancing, we recommend keeping 10 feet between people viewing a property.

  • Do not congregate around doorways.  This causes people to be in less than 10 feet of distance as people enter and exit rooms.  Stand in open areas or corner of rooms.

  • Do not enter or be in the same room with people other than your family.
    • Real estate licensees should allow the buyer(s) to enter a room, unaccompanied.  Only after the buyer(s) exit a room, should the real estate licensee enter to view the room. 
    • Stand 10 feet from doorways so that the buyer(s) can enter and exit a room freely while maintaining social distancing.
  • When standing outside the property and walking the exterior grounds, maintain 10 feet social distancing.

  • Describe these Better Living Real Estate COVID-19 Protocols to any showing agents and remind them throughout the viewing to maintain 10 feet social distancing and not enter rooms in groups.

 

Scheduling a time to View Homes For Sale 

For Buyers: If you’re a buyer, please let your Better Living Real Estate® Associate know the properties you’re interested in viewing as well as the days and time that are convenient for you to visit. Your Better Living Real Estate® Associate will professionally arrange to show you those available properties.

For Sellers: You may see an increased demand to have private viewing appointments for your property. This should be expected, and will be normal for the foreseeable future.  Discuss the specific times that are convenient for you to allow your Better Living Real Estate® Associate to show your property. We can arrange a showing schedule that works for you, and provide that information to buyers and the buyers’ agents.

 

When is the Best Time to List Your Property For Sale?

With over 33 years of experience in real estate and having weathered several tragic economic events following the 9/11 attacks on our nation and the catastrophic Great Recession, Better Living Real Estate® is your best guide to listing your home for sale.  In time of need and crisis, experience matters.

Better Living Real Estate® has sensible and time tested protocols and professional real estate practices in place to help our sellers with their important sale. We are consulting and observing common sense guidelines published by the government authorities, health care professionals and our Realtor® Associations.  We have a plan in place to help you determine the best time and sales plan for your home and property.

Internally, Better Living Real Estate® Associates are supported by a team of experience leaders, support vice presidents, internal messaging services, our proprietary “help & support forum,” and active business messaging to ensure that your Better Living Real Estate® is the best informed, best training and most professional resource for you to have your real estate questions answered and your real estate move plan supported by our team of experts.

We believe that listing your real estate for sale now may present a unique and good opportunity for sellers to present their property to interested buyers by appointment, expertly coordinated by their Better Living Real Estate® Associate. We have limited inventory of available real estate for buyers to purchase, and there is still much pent up demand to purchase by financially preapproved buyers.

 

Will my house sell without hosting an open house?

The short answer is “YES.”  When you prepare your home in the way recommended by your Better Living Real Estate® Associate, we will advertise and expose your home to all buyers who are looking to purchase in your community and price range.  We will schedule individual showings with interested buyers on a one to one basis rather than allowing the typical crowds of visitors that attend open houses. This will still provide great access to your property and allow buyers to view and submit offers in a normal and consistent process that has been traditionally used by Better Living Real Estate® and the real estate industry.

We are not health experts, but we are marketing experts. Selling your property now may provide you a great opportunity to attract interested buyers during a market with less competition. This makes your property STAND OUT, and can possibly earn you a higher overall sale price.