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 April 28, 2020 by Better Living Real Estate®

 

All Real Estate Agents and Visitors are REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS covering their mouth and nose when viewing a property with Better Living Real Estate® to protect all parties.

To further prevent the spread of viruses, we recommend sanitizing your hands prior to entering a property and immediately after vacating the property.

 

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, property visitors and real estate licensees.

Where this disclosure and our policies may become outdated or in conflict with new or updated government response and guidance for the health and safety of the general public, we advise all clients, consumers and real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® may update or amend our COVID-19 Protocols and disclosure from time to time to comply with best practices, industry and REALTOR Association guidelines, government regulations or guidelines, and recommendations from health experts including The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our most updated COVID-19 Protocols can be found here.

Federal & State Government advises to Limit Gatherings: 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. VIRTUAL SHOWINGS are recommended for all parties who may be sick, showing any signs of illness or prefer not to personally visit a property. As recommended by the National Association or REALTORS, Better Living Real Estate® advises not to attend or host a public open house, especially while government requests for social distancing are in effect. When personally visiting a property, please follow the guideline below.

 

Quick Guidelines & Recommendations for a Healthy and Safe Real Estate Experience

  • Virtual Showings and Live Virtual Walk-throughs are available through Better Living Real Estate® Your Better Living Real Estate® Associate will be happy to schedule an appointment to walk through and show you a property using video conferencing including Google Meet, FaceTime or other video meeting software.
  • All parties are required to wear masks covering their mouth and nose when meeting, showing or viewing a property.

  • Local, State & Federal government orders and safety 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 showings. Some municipalities have issued temporary restrictions. Example: Worcester, MA COVID-19 Guide for Real Estate Sales Professionals.

  • We recommend suspending open house and visits 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 and visits may resume, based on updated government social distancing guidelines and resumption of restaurant openings.

  • If a buyer, seller or occupant of a home or building being sold is sick, do not show or view that property. Observe 14 day quarantine CDC guidelines and stay away from sick homes.

  • Greet people with a wave and smile; please do not “shake hands” or “fist bump.” Observe social distancing with 6 or more feet of separation when walking through a property. Masks must be used by all parties without exception.

  • Do not congregate at a 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 6 to 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 or light switches.

  • Do not touch surfaces, doors, or door knobs if at all possible. This helps keep homes safe for the occupants and other visitors.

  • Do not bring food or drinks into a property.

  • Do not use bathrooms or faucets when 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 or through virtual means.

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.

  • All parties are required to wear masks covering their mouth and nose when meeting, showing or viewing a property.

  • Upon entry, view a property with your hands in your pockets to prevent touching any parts of the interior of a property.  Use stairway handrails only if needed.  Do not touch door knobs.

    • For parents of young 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 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 may 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.  Children are allowed inside a property with proper adult supervision.

  • Observe Social Distancing, we recommend keeping 6 to 10 feet between people viewing a property.

  • Do not congregate around doorways.  This causes people to be less than 6 to 10 feet of distance as people enter and exit rooms.  Stand in open areas or corner of rooms and keep masks on at all times.

  • Do not enter or occupy a room with people other than those people you are currently living with at your current home.

    • 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 6 to 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.

  • Provide these Better Living Real Estate® COVID-19 Protocols to any showing agents and remind them throughout the viewing to maintain 6 to 10 feet social distancing and not enter rooms in groups.

 

 

Hosting and Attending Open Houses

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. However, open houses are not necessary to sell a house.

Real estate agents and sellers are typically agree to allow prequalified buyers to visit at a time and date that is convenient to all parties. Optionally, Better Living Real Estate®, also schedules virtual showings or live virtual walk-through tours upon request. Simply coordinate an appointment through your Better Living Real Estate® Associate.

Open Houses have been held during cold and flu seasons in the past. Most 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 may 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.

 

 

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. Remember, virtual showings and live virtual walk-through tours are available upon request.

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. If your property is occupied, we recommend only showing your home to prequalified buyers who have a mortgage in place with a local reputable lender.

 

 

When is the best time to List Your Property For Sale?

With over 33 years of experience in real estate and having navigated 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.  Our professional real estate practices help our sellers make the best decisions 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® Associate is the best informed, best trained and most professional resource for you to have your real estate questions answered.  Your real estate move plan supported by our team of experts.

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

 

 

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 and prequalified 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®.  All offers and contracts are signed using Electronic Signature Software provided by Better Living Real Estate® for your further safety.

We are not health experts, but we are marketing experts.  Selling your property now may provide you with 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.

Whether selling or buying, trust the real estate experts at Better Living Real Estate® to make your real estate transaction a well managed process and experience.