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Showing homes in 2020: Look but don’t touch

Lindsay Smith

By Lindsay Smith/Columnist

A question I had from a Seller this week was one I have been asked many times over the past few months. Let’s take a look at why people are asking this question and explore why so many people are reaching out for this specific information.

This question is very honest and based around a sense of confusion, fear and uncertainty. All feelings we have experienced since we began the new experience of “sheltering in place.”

“When my home is on the market for sale, how do I know my family will be safe when buyers and agents are entering and touring my home?”

I will say that once the stay at home orders came down the sellers I had ready to go decided to hold off until there was some stability in the marketplace. Our showings dropped to almost nil and everyone seemed frozen. Then we saw the creativity of the real estate community align with the medical community to come up with protocols to protect sellers, buyers and sales agents.

Our office quickly put in place a schedule that was required to be signed buy any buyer, sales rep, inspector, appraiser or anyone entering the home. Also, the seller and listing broker agreed to work with these new protocols. The schedule covered:

  • The buyers or service providers have not been out of Canada in the past 14 days and have not had contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. (or has been in an environment with an elevated number of infections)
  • Sales rep, buyers and service providers have not displayed symptoms of COVID-19 for the past 14 days.
  • Sellers and listing sales rep agree to vacate the home for the duration of the viewing/ inspections.
  • A maximum of one sales rep and two buyers (along with one inspector) to be inside the property at any time during the viewing.
  • Sales rep and buyers are required to wear gloves during the viewing, (masks are requested but not a requirement) and agree to not touch anything in the home.
  • The seller agrees to leave interior doors and closet doors open and all lights on/ draperies open to allow the buyer to see the home without touching any of the surfaces. The buyers leave all doors in the same position when leaving.

These requirements ensure that the risk is reduced for the Sellers and my team. Our goal has not changed to sell the property at the highest price, however, we are taking every precaution we can to maintain a safe and health conscious process.

Along with these requirements, we also speak to each and every showing sales rep asking questions about the buyer, doing our best to ensure that only qualified, serious buyers enter the property. Over the past 35 years selling homes locally, I have created processes to protect sellers personal property and these new protocols are just another step adding one more layer of security.

Selling your home is truly a balancing act of allowing strangers into your home and protecting your privacy. I believe most agents are doing their best to keep their clients safe and healthy during this pandemic. I know we are.

If you have questions on the market or if you can see a real estate emergency on the horizon, I can be reached at

Lindsay Smith Broker
Keller Williams Energy Brokerage