Key Highlights:

  • The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Better Homes and Gardens offer these guidelines to help protect and prevent real estate professionals from the coronavirus
  • In such times, it is MORE THAN OKAY to ask your customers questions and to ask them to comply with guidelines while working with you.

Both the National Association of REALTORS ® (NAR) and Better Homes and Gardens’ Joseph Rand have prepared guidelines and best practices specifically designed for real estate professionals to most effectively protect themselves from and prevent the effects and spread of the coronavirus pandemic. These guidelines and best practices are based upon recommend- actions from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Know that if you contract COVID-19, you will likely be okay. Some 80% of all cases are mild and 15% are moderate. And, know that this pandemic will definitely cause some economic disruption. If you don’t own a B&B, be thankful.

Here are some simple precautions as suggested by Joseph Rand, the managing partner of Better Homes and Gardens:

  • Social distancing is key – give yourself 5-6 feet of space around you.
  • Forget about shaking hands, hugging and/or kissing someone on the cheek. Instead, greetings like placing your hands over your heart or touching elbows work just fine.
  • Avoid large groups – no group over 10 people
  • Wash your hands A LOT – 20 seconds of soap and water or an anti-bacterial wipe
  • Use anti-bacterial wipes on surfaces, doorknobs, objects, anything that is in contact with/touched by other people etc.
  • Keep your hands off your face, mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Stay/go home if you’re not feeling well – many places have already imposed “shelter in place/home” recommendations
  • Beef up your immune system with lots of sleep, healthy foods, vitamin D and zinc and drink a lot of water.

Here are some of NAR’s guidelines:

  • Make sure to ask ALL you clients the SAME questions so that you are being consistent and NOT violating Fair Housing rules
  • Monitor updates from the CDC/WHO and your state/local health authorities.
  • Ask your clients whether or not they’ve been traveling recently – and where.
  • Ask your clients whether or not they have any respiratory issues.
  • If you are viewing properties in real time with clients, ask them to meet you at the property so they are NOT in your car. If they are in your car, give them hand sanitizers to use before and after being in the car and wipe down all seat belt buckles, handles, dashboard, steering wheel, etc.
  • Wipe down doorknobs, counter-tops, light switches, etc. with sanitizers.
  • Speak honestly with your sellers about potential health risks concerning open houses and propose alternate marketing options such as virtual tours, etc.
  • If having a real time tour of a listing, ask all guests to disinfect their hands upon entering, limit the number of people in the house at one time, have sanitizers at the entry, and have soap and disposable towels in the bathroom.
  • Recommend that the seller disinfect their home, especially around doorknobs, faucets, countertops, etc. if/when people are viewing the home in real time.

And, of course, if mandatory stay-at-home rules are in place where you work, follow them and encourage sick people to stay at home. Also encourage clients to leave their children and parents home to cut down exposure to COVID-19.

Thanks to the National Association of REALTORS® and Joseph Rand with Better Homes and Gardens.

Also read: Coronavirus Effect on Volatility in Real Estate – So Far, How Some Homebuilders Coping with Impacts of Coronavirus, Coronavirus Now Reality in Real Estate Dealings