Workplace Policies and Procedure adopted by the Real Estate Industry – Alert Level 3
The REBOSA guidelines that have been adopted by the real estate industry to meet the health and safety requirements for Alert Level 3 include:
Procedures for Private Viewings
- Private viewings must be conducted by appointment only.
- Agents should share virtual tours and conduct video walk-throughs of available properties with potential clients using technological means.
- Only once all digital means of viewing the home have been provided, should clients be given the option to view the home in person.
- Agents should screen potential clients to ensure only qualified and serious buyers or renters are taken to view properties to limit risk of transmission.
- Private viewings are strictly by appointment only and with the consent of the clients.
- Agents must enquire from all clients if anyone falls within the high-risk category. It is preferable that these occupants should not be present for the viewing.
- The home must be thoroughly sterilised by the agent after the viewing has taken place, in particular surfaces that have been accidentally touched by visitors.
- Agents should ask clients to send only the final decision makers to view the properties and not the entire family. It is recommended that a maximum of two people from the buyers’ and/or renter’s party attend a private viewing.
- Only one agent may attend a private viewing.
- All attendees are to be emailed a screening questionnaire prior to the meeting which must be completed & returned before the meeting.
- All attendees to be emailed COVID-19 information beforehand, including hygiene expectations.
- Screening is required for all private viewing attendees including recording names, addresses and phone numbers of all attendees, to assist with contact tracing. This document must be kept on record by the Property.CoZa franchise.
- Those individuals falling into the high-risk category (agents and clients) should consider not attending the viewing (e.g. those over 60 years old or those with other existing medical conditions)
- Agents must enquire from all clients if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If so, agents must postpone the appointment until everyone is in good health and has self-isolated for the mandatory 14-day period.
- No private viewings at properties are permitted, where any person living at the property is or has been in the 14 days prior to the viewing, unwell or self-isolating.
- All attendees are required to inform the agent if they present any symptoms up to 14 days after attending a viewing.
- Viewing rules are to be shared with all attendees prior to the viewing, including that the viewing is ‘contactless’ and surfaces cannot be touched by attendees.
Rules and procedure for private viewings:
- Adopt a “no clients in an agent’s car” policy. Meet your client at the property (travel independently).
- If possible, request that the property occupants not be in the property during viewings to minimize contact.
- Request the client to open internal/external doors as appropriate beforehand to minimise risk of surface transmission.
- All attendees are to wear cloth masks while viewing the properties.
- Both the client and the agent must sanitize their hands before entering the property.
- Agent to ensure that hand sanitizer is positioned at the entrance of the property & is available to all attendees during the viewing process.
- Agent to remind clients that the viewing is ‘contactless’ and surfaces may not be touched
- Physical distancing of 2m to be maintained at all times
- No physical contact between attendees (e.g. no hugs, no handshakes)
- The agent (wearing gloves) will open any doors / cupboards on behalf of attendees if the property occupant is unable to.
- Keep private viewings as brief as possible.
- Display COVID-19 information and hygiene notices at entrance to property.
- Agents must sanitise or use antibacterial wipes to wipe down areas that attendees may have accidentally touched (including keys to the home, door handles etc.)
- Private viewings must be spaced sufficiently apart to allow time for sanitising after each viewing, as required, and to ensure there is no contact between potential buyers and/or renters.
Allowing Third-Parties Access to the Property
These include visits to a property other than the above, such as a valuer, building inspector, engineer, photography, videographer etc.
The agent, when arranging for a valuer, photographer, building inspector or any other third party to visit a property, must adhere to the following:
- Strictly by appointment only and with the consent of the client and any other third party.
- Agent to screen all parties that will be present at the property.
- Screening of all parties including names, addresses and phone numbers, to assist with contact tracing. All attendees to be emailed the screening questionnaire prior to the meeting which must be completed & returned before the meeting.
- Any party who falls within the high-risk category (e.g. those over 60 years of age or those with existing medical conditions) or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must stay at home.
- Visits will strictly be prohibited if any property occupant or party scheduled to attend is or has been in the 14 days prior to the visit, unwell or was self-isolating.
- Request that only essential people be present.
- Everyone is required to travel independently and meet at the property.
- Before and after the appointment, agent to ensure thorough sanitizing of the property, including hands, keys, door handles, surfaces etc.
- Agents to ensure that hand sanitizer is available to all parties while at the property.
- All parties to sanitize their hands before entering the property.
- All parties to wear cloth masks while at the property.
- Physical distancing of 2m to be maintained at all times.
- No physical contact between parties (e.g. hugs, handshakes).
- Afterwards, sanitize or use antibacterial wipes to wipe down areas attendees may have accidentally touched.
- All attendees to be instructed to inform the agent if they present any symptoms up to 14 days after attending a meeting so all parties can be warned and referred for testing.
Signing of Contracts
- It is preferable that documents are delivered to the client and that Zoom calls or other video-based conferencing is used to explain terms and conditions of the contract.
- Should a meeting to sign documents be required, all parties are to
- Maintain social distancing practices.
- Wear a facemask for the duration of the meeting.
- Where possible, wear gloves.
- Each to use their own pen to avoid spreading germs.
- Agent to provide sanitiser for attendees to use.
- Sanitize all surfaces (such as the desk at which the documents were signed) before and after the meeting takes place
- All other health and safety protocols with respect to “in-person meetings” to be upheld.
Arranging the Key Hand Over & Outgoing/Ingoing Inspections
When conducting inspections or key handovers, the agent is to:
- Ask that clients maintain social distancing practices during the inspection of the premises (no handshakes, no hugs, etc.)
- All parties to wear a facemask for the duration of the meeting
- Agent to wear gloves throughout the inspection
- Sanitize all surfaces that were touched after the inspection has been completed
- Sanitize the keys before handover
- Keep the meeting as brief as possible