New Real Estate Protocols & Systems During “Stay Home, Stay Healthy”: April 3, 2020 Update
With the recent extension of Washington State’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, we wanted to take a moment and provide an update on what our community can expect from us in the month ahead. Our highest priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our community, and we have wholeheartedly supported Governor Inslee’s order since it was first announced on March 23rd.
Windermere Professional Partners staff and real estate brokers are working from home and providing virtual options for nearly all of their real estate services. Our staff and agents have swiftly adapted, and we have new protocols and systems in place to ensure that we maintain our commitment to keeping ourselves and our community safe.
We recognize that during this time, there are circumstances that will not allow someone to wait to buy or sell, and as a result, there are some services that must be performed in person. As of Saturday, March 28th, real estate brokers are allowed to leave home to perform limited duties as long as they comply with current CDC and clear industry guidelines. While our brokers are available to help you, they are prioritizing safety and are strictly adhering to the new rules.
Together we are going to get through this, and we appreciate your respect and patience as we work through these changes.
Here is an overview of new protocols for our brokers and guidelines for Buyers & Sellers:
Due to the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, our brokers are able to help serious buyers who need to buy a home right now.
Brokers will first offer clients virtual tours and/or the option of video calls to minimize risk to all involved.
When an in-person showing is the only option, our brokers will:
- Ask you to acknowledge our disclosures related to COVID-19
- Ask if you have been sick or exposed to someone who has been sick
- Request a pre-approval letter to demonstrate that you are a “right now” buyer
- Remind you of the social distancing measures required by Governor Inslee’s order
- Educate you about additional NWMLS Guidelines for in-person showings, which include:
- Only agent + 1 person allowed in the home at any given time
- Only agent + inspector allowed in the home at any given time
- No overlapping showings
- All showings and in-person meetings must be by appointment only
These new rules mean that we will need your cooperation and patience as some processes will be different from how you may have experienced them in the past, and policies have changed.
Although the Governor’s revision to the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order on March 28th, 2020 now allows for in-person showings (under specific criteria), Sellers should give careful consideration to listing their homes right now.
If your home is occupied, do you feel safe having strangers enter your home during a pandemic?
Even if your home is vacant, are you prepared for potential delays and/or cancelled sales resulting from the inevitable volatility we’ll see in the financial markets in the coming weeks?
It’s also important to keep in mind that buyers are expressing uncertainty about employment, and buyer’s agents may be concerned about showing homes during a pandemic. Talk with your broker about what trends they are seeing in your neighborhood.
Should you decide to move forward, here’s what our brokers will be required to do:
- Have you sign Windermere’s COVID-19 disclosures
- Review NWMLS & CDC guidelines
- Schedule a photographer, videographer, and any other necessary vendors. All vendors must respect strict guidelines put in place by the Governor’s order, NWMLS. and CDC (See full details here.)
- Post a COVID-19 warning sign on the front door
- Direct potential buyers to online resources that could minimize in-person visits
- Ensure showings don’t overlap (using Showingtime)
- Prescreen buyers to be sure they are serious and pre-approved
- Ask you to leave your home for each showing
Sellers should also keep in mind that open houses are not currently permitted, and movers must also adhere to social distancing guidelines.
After consulting with your broker and reviewing this information, you may find that this is not not the right time for you to enter into the market. However, if there are life issues that are forcing you to make this decision now, we do have the protocols in place to assist you.
Our focus has always been on serving the needs of our community, and those values will continue to guide us during this challenging time. We are all in this together.
Click here to view the “COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions Stay Home, Stay Healthy” PDF that NWMLS released on April 1, 2020.