COVID -19 Home Buying Precautions from March 2020 - Don't Touch Anything!

With all of us impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic -- be it working from home, schooling from home, social distancing, checking your temperature, ordering take out instead of dining in, and helping deliver groceries to the elderly -- there are a few things you might want to consider if you are buying or selling a home during these uncertain times.  

Here’s a brief rundown on some precautions you may want to take as we ride out this storm.

Don’t touch any surface in any home you are touring with your bare hands. 

The virus is passed on via airborne particulates and can survive on surfaces and be passed on by touch. Don’t touch anything.  

Wear disposable gloves if you can find them when you enter any home that is not yours, just in case you cannot resist the temptation to touch. Then dispose of the gloves in a garbage can with a lid outside your house.

Don’t go into a house if another group or family is already inside taking a tour. Wait until you can be the only ones in the house. 

While home showings have decreased in frequency since the closing of bars and restaurants and the requirement to limit social gathering to 10 people, you still may find an open house you’d like to tour. If the house draws a big crowd, follow the social distancing guidelines and steer clear of other potential buyers as you walk around.  

Only one person in the hallway at a time. Let the other person check out the kitchen before you go in. Stand clear of all doorways as people come and go. Cough into your elbow facing away from any other visitors. And don’t touch anyone.

If your home is listed for sale, be clear with your agent how you’d like to handle things.  

You may elect to put your house on hold and not schedule any showings for the next few weeks. Or you may choose to schedule showings by appointment only. That way, you know exactly when the potential buyers are coming, and you can leave the house before they arrive.  

Consider virtual online tours or video chats with such apps as FaceTime as an alternative to in-person showings.

If you happen to be home when strangers arrive for an in-person tour, ask for some space when leaving through the front door. Or leave via the garage to avoid interacting with them.

Once the showing is over, wipe down all of your counters and cabinets with the most effective germ killer you can get your hands on. You have no idea how many strange hands may have touched your home’s surfaces, even if they were asked to look with their eyes only.  

Safety first.

UPDATE: This blog was written before Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order restricting non-essential movements by all 40 million California residents. The order applies to public events and gatherings. Essential services include gas stations, pharmacies, food and convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks and laundry businesses. The National Association of Realtors recommended agents provide virtual online home tours instead of in-person showings

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or