Aug 28, 2020 by - Janki Patel

What should you do while showing homes?

While the Bay Area is consumed with fires, Realtors are still working around the clock. What should Realtors do while showing homes?

Since last week, our Bay Area/Silicon Valley has been under siege with wildfires spreading throughout the Bay.  We feel like we are engulfed in between three major fires, that are rapidly closing in on residential areas.  In the midst, of the COVID pandemic and now these wildfires, realtors here in the Bay Area are still brave enough to go out showing homes and are still listing properties.  Why is that?

The simple answer to that is: Interest rates! Buyers don’t want to miss out on these phenomenal, all-time low, interest rates even though we are seeing low inventory. Buyers are taking the leap of faith and are continuing to bid on and submit offers on properties.

This past weekend, I was one of the realtors who decided to brave the harsh conditions.  Among these fires, smoked filled air I went out there telling myself “The show must go on” as my buyers are ready to buy NOW.  Not to mention, we are still in a multiple offers situation with such low interest rates. So, one may ask: How are Realtors handling the demand for homes with low interest rates add fuel to the fire?

Most of you Realtors know that when the COVID pandemic hit and everything shut down in March, we were all completely lost of what to advise our clients, however we quickly became ESSENTIAL and the doors for showing homes and listing properties were once again open. It was not easy since there were new requirements for us to following including a PEAD form signature, sanitization after showings, masks, gloves and booties just to show homes and/or list homes.

Once our local area got the hang of “real estate during the COVID era”, we were hit with another catastrophic event. This time, Realtors had to figure out how to handle the Silicon Valley/Bay Area wild-fires which began with lightning and thunderstorms. Within a few days, firefighters were trying to contain 347,000 acres of burning fires.

I remember driving right passed a wildfire that could be seen burning the hills right off of our freeways. I was on my way to a showing appointment when I realized how risky it was for us Realtors to be out and about showing homes as if nothing was going on. As realtors we have the mentality of hustling no matter what, and continuing business as usual by going on listing/showing appointments, appraisal and inspection appointments, along with the several other appointments we go through in a single day.

One may ask: What about safety? Safety of you and your clients while showing homes?  This past Sunday I showed a few homes while the sky was filled with smoke and we couldn’t even see the hills around us. I was definitely scared of what our near future held but I had to remind myself that the “R” in Realtor stands for Resilience. It is the name of our game, especially if you want to survive in our industry! In this crazy busy, multiple offer, low interest rate, market, “you snooze, you lose!”

Bottom line: If you are a Realtor reading this blog, what are you doing to go above and beyond to meet your clients’ demands of showing a home during this time?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you are well prepared: comfortable fitted mask, gloves, booties, hand sanitizer, and plenty of water to stay hydrated
  2. Once you have sent in your PEAD form, I recommend you reach out to the listing agent AGAIN to confirm your showing time as sometimes listing agents are double booking appointments, making it unsafe for Realtors and their clients and not following guidelines set in place. (I personally experienced this one).
  3. Leave plenty of time between showing appointments.
  4. Use hand sanitizer after opening the lockbox and opening the door.
  5. Try not to touch light switches and advise your clients the same.
  6. Continue using hand sanitizer during the showings (I tend to do this.)
  7. Do NOT leave your business card, as the listing agent knows who you are.

If the home is owner occupied, please be very mindful of the fact that someone lives there, so it’s important to make sure you do not touch anything.

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