Despite the partial shutdown of certain commercial activities (restaurants, bars, gyms) in red zones across Quebec, all real estate activities continue to be carried out, but with the necessary preventive measures put forward by the government.
Better Safety Measures
“It goes without saying that, since the start of the pandemic, visits have changed in order to respect physical distancing and the new reality that we are all living through,” explains Katia Samson, Certified Real Estate Broker Chartered AEO and President of Groupe Immobilier Katia Samson. Several new safety and hygiene measures are currently being implemented, including a coronavirus statement declaring the person who wishes to visit a property has not been in contact with anyone affected by Covid, and that they themselves exhibit no symptoms.
In addition, several guidelines provided by brokers must be followed during visits:
- Masks must be worn during all visits and at the notary.
- One person at a time, accompanied by the buyer’s broker.
- Maintain a two-metre distance at all times.
- The occupants (sellers, tenants) must not be present during the visit.
- No children or people over 70 during the visit.
- All parties must disinfect their hands before and after with an alcohol-based solution.
- Avoid touching surfaces of the property when visiting.
Video Conference and Virtual Visits
As is the case in other industries for hard goods where the price point is high, like cars for example, buyers of residential properties are now spending much more time exploring what the market has to offer, and searching online, before committing to their final choice.
“Visits on a Sunday afternoon, just to snoop around into other people’s houses, are not happening anymore. People are coming in because they’re really interested in the property and they want to make an offer. That’s when they take a closer look and inspect, in more detail, the finishes and the exterior.”
At Katia Samson Real Estate Group, which offers an ultra-personalized service, the entire team has the experience and the necessary tools to provide a turnkey service to buyers who only want virtual visits before making an offer.
“The pandemic just accelerated the adoption of technologies that were already there. And it’s great because it presents more options for consumers,” says Katia. “With these tools, we can accompany each client by video conference on virtual visits, and even signing the deed of sale can now be done remotely since some notaries are now offering virtual signatures.”
So there’s no problem at all for extra-cautious buyers who still want to take advantage of a housing market that’s as active as ever. Pandemic or not, real estate agencies are still offering their full range of services for fall 2020!