The COVID real estate process has been a whirlwind of daily updates and changes. No complaints, we’re grateful to be able to continue our work, but it has been complex and ever changing and we thought you should know the latest for property showing procedures here on the Monterey Peninsula. 

Initially when Shelter in Place began, vacant listings were able to be shown, but not owner occupied homes. We had a few clients looking at non-owner occupied listings so this kept us busy on the buy side, and our listings are a mix of vacant and owner occupied homes, so we needed to stay up to date on best practices for both. Shortly after vacant listings were deemed showable, the county insisted that staging must be removed so no furnishings could be inside the homes. It wasn’t until just a couple weeks ago that owner occupied homes became showable, and a strict protocol must be followed. 

Showing Owner Occupied Homes

If a seller is comfortable showing their home during Covid 19, the buyers and their agent must sign a special form called a PEAD – Property Entry Advisory Disclosure. No more than two buyers and one agent may be inside the home at one time and they must all follow 6 foot social distancing guidelines. The agents involved must be prepared with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to wipe down surfaces in major traffic areas i.e. kitchen counters, cabinet pulls, door knobs, handrails etc after the showing. This cleaning may be done by any qualified party i.e. a cleaning company, the listing agent, a real estate assistant, or even the seller if they prefer to clean themselves. All parties must wear a mask during the showing – booties are not required at the time of writing this article, but some sellers may want them.

What Does This Mean for the Market?

Strict showing procedures for occupied properties mean more preparation and clean up for the sellers, more document processing and equipment for the agents and buyers, and more overall risk for everyone. I think one positive to come from this is more thorough deliberations prior to viewing a property. It’s a great deal of effort even before the virus for a seller to show their home they live in. With today’s technology we have videos, 3D tours, google satellite imaging, digital disclosures and reports – a significant amount of time can be spent determining if the property is a good fit before walking through the door, and I think it’s going to result in fewer but higher quality showings for sellers, and less time spent by buyers looking at properties that don’t really meet their needs. I think that trend will continue even after the virus is over.