After months of lockdown, the Ontario Government has lifted restrictions in York, Halton, and Durham Regions as of Friday, July 24.
The bad news is that the “new normal” for open houses and viewings comes with its own list of restrictions. The good news is that you will probably find them less stressful than a socially distanced trip to Costco.
After being trapped in your bubble for the last few months, here is what you can expect when looking for a new bubble and buying a new home during COVID.
More Damned Masks and Hand Washing
We know. We are all very much over masks and hand washing. As much as I love the refreshing sting of sanitizer on tiny paper cuts on my hands, I am also over it.
But public masks and regular hand washing is a big part of the new normal everywhere we go, and that includes open houses.
Feel free to bust out your own Purell or hand sanitizer of choice. But we will be providing it for you when you show up.
Social Distancing Inside
I am no longer allowed to wow you with my bone-crushing handshake when we meet. Sadly, no more handshakes.
Then, once inside, we will take you around the home and maintain the standard 6 feet/2-meter distances.
This will be a bit tricky at times in smaller rooms and tight hallways. But trust me when I say we can make it work.
Limiting the Numbers
We obviously want to keep everyone as safe as possible, so we will actively keep the number of people going in and out of the home under tight control.
This means that we will schedule tours as far in advance as possible, while keeping the numbers as low as possible. So, one family at a time and we ask that you try to limit your party to as few people as possible.
Anyone else will have to wait outside in socially responsible spacing.
Your realtor will also keep a record of everyone who has attended the property showing, including the date and time, in case contact tracing becomes necessary. They should also make it perfectly clear how your personal information is being collected, used and disclosed.
Consider a Virtual Tour
Not to brag, but I was one of the first realtors I know to sell a home over FaceTime.
I’ll be the first to admit that virtual tours work far better than I would have ever dreamed. But, you will obviously want to see the house in person.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has released their guidelines for realtors to follow and have advised us to, “Take every opportunity to use technology to reduce in-person contact (e.g., virtual open houses and executing documents remotely).”
“Let your clients know that you can provide real estate services and market their home effectively using the array of technological tools available.”
Basically, we’re now most likely going to reserve in-person tours for people who have seen the house online, probably taken the virtual tour, and have a genuine interest in the home.
Serious buyers will get the tour, but tire kickers can only kick virtual tires these days.
We’re Here to Help You Through Every Step
Buying a new home was complicated and stressful before all of the new rules and regulations.
Don’t go into this process alone. We’re here to make this process as simple as possible, while still making sure you get the perfect home in the perfect neighbourhood.
You can click here to contact me any time.