The advent of COVID-19 has changed the way things are done in many industries, including everything from education to entertainment to real estate. The use of social distancing to slow the virus’s spread has particularly impacted real estate, causing a move away from in-person showings and open houses to virtual tours. Still, many buyers want to do it the traditional way, and it can be done relatively safely – if you know what you’re doing. So here’s how to prepare for a New Jersey open house in the time of COVID.
Know the Local Rules and Restrictions
The first thing sellers should do in preparing for an open house in New Jersey is to gain an understanding of the local rules and restrictions governing close personal interactions and group events. These vary from state to state and from city to city, so it’ll take a little digging.
Shelter-on-place orders, which basically shut down all non-essential businesses and gatherings, may still be in place in some areas. Other cities and states have more open and flexible policies. Your local New Jersey regulations, then, will determine in large part how you go about preparing for an open house.
Your New Jersey real estate agent should be able to guide you in your open house preparations to ensure compliance with local regulations. To find out more, contact a local agent at 908-448-2770.
Take General Precautions
There are several precautions you can take to ensure a safe and healthy New Jersey open house in the time of COVID. If in-person open houses are allowed in your area, be sure to implement these general precautions.
Some of the things you can and should do include:
- Consider open houses on a case-by-case basis. This means primarily culling more tire kickers by making sure potential buyers have been pre-approved.
- Also, make sure buyers have taken the virtual tour and are actually ready for an open house.
- Have “showing kits” assembled and easily available to viewers. These kits should include booties, gloves, and hand sanitizer.
- Before the open house, disinfect all frequently touched areas and objects – for example, countertops, doorknobs, and cabinet pull.
- Afterward, thoroughly clean and disinfect again.
Implement Specific Precautions and Safety Measures
Besides the general precautions set out above, there are some specific safety measures you can take, especially with the help of your agent. These are:
- As we mentioned, vet potential buyers to make sure they are serious buyers. There’s no need to risk exposure to COVID unnecessarily.
- Make sure beforehand that none of the parties involved is sick, including potential buyers, your agent, and yourself.
- Work with your New Jersey agent to ensure that only one buyer or buyer group at a time tours your home.
- Continue to observe the CDC’s recommended six-foot rule during the open house.
- Request that buyers wash or sanitize their hands and remove their shoes on arrival.
Points to Remember
Let’s recap some important points to keep in mind when preparing for a New Jersey open house in the time of COVID . . .
- Stay abreast of the continually changing lockdown and social-distancing rules.
- Know the CDC guidelines, such as washing hands often and avoiding touching your face.
- If you or any buyer is at high risk for infection, find other ways to show your home, possibly relying on virtual tours.
- No one who is sick or displays any COVID symptoms should attend an open house.
Your Local Agent Can Help
Real estate agents have had to adapt in the time of COVID, and a good agent will know the best ways to conduct an open house in these unprecedented times. So be sure to lean on your local agent’s knowledge or better yet, consider selling to a cash house buyer to avoid the stress. To discover more, contact us today at 908-448-2770.