In a handful of earlier blog posts, the Redbud Group addressed how the real estate industry has been affected by the coronavirus, whether or not it was still feasible to purchase and/or sell during these uncharted times, and what adaptations we’re all making to ensure the safety of our clients and their families, as well as our Realtors ® and their loved ones.
These days, in this climate, it’s more than enough to simply be in “survival mode,” so no harm, no foul if you haven’t had the opportunity to read through the above articles. Here’s the tl;dr: version, for your convenience:
The Redbud Group has been keeping a close eye on MLS data trends and we can confirm that Charlotteans are still buying and selling homes at a healthy rate, all things considered.
Housing inventory still remains in short supply, and buyers are seeking new places to call home. Sellers can maximize their downtime and minimize days on market by improving curb appeal, decluttering and chipping away at the old honey-do list.
We’re adapting and adhering to local, state and national guidelines in order to help flatten the curve while also doing everything within our power to assist those families and neighbors that still need our help in securing the keys to their next home because sometimes, a move just can’t wait.
Now that we’ve established the likely chance of you successfully navigating through the homebuying or home selling process, let’s talk about how to physically move while keeping your distance from one another and deploying all PPE measures available to us during COVID-19.
Ask the right questions
While gathering estimates over the phone and potentially, in person, be sure to ask specifically what measures each company will employ to ensure that you, your loved ones and your belongings are well taken care of. You might want to know:
How will the moving company plan to comply with CDC, WHO, and local public health department guidelines?
How will the moving company monitor and evaluate the health and status of their employees and whether or not they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus?
How have they adapted their standard operations to ensure a smooth, timely move during this pandemic? If so, how has this impacted cost?
What PPE staff and clients are required to utilize during the packing procedure and moving process and who is responsible for providing those items
How often will the employees need access to running water and antibacterial soap in order to keep up with handwashing recommendations?
What are they asking of clients during this time?
It goes without saying that moving during a pandemic will have its challenges, and the occasional hiccup is to be expected. For example, depending on certain adaptations your moving company may have made, you may see smaller crews than usual, and as a result, it may take longer than expected to pack, load, and transport. Try to be patient and plan ahead for interruptions.
If you’re typically very hands-on during the moving process, carefully hovering to see to it that each of your items are properly packed, you may have to ground your helicopter as the moving company more than likely will limit the amount of interaction, in order to reduce possible exposure. If you absolutely must be present, at least make sure that your loved ones are being cared for, outside of the home.
It’s also possible that you may want to take the extra precaution to prevent exposure by unpacking your own items in your new home, after a quarantine period. If you’d like to go this route, confirm that your movers will store your non-essential belongings in the garage or a storage unit. After a certain period of time, you may then carry in and unpack the load, at your own convenience, and disinfect, if necessary.
Opt to go digital
If you’ve ever employed a moving company, you know that there’s a myriad of paperwork that you’ll need to sign off on, including: the estimate (whether that be non-binding, binding, and binding not to exceed x), the bill of landing contract, service order, inventory sheet, an explanation of your rights and responsibilities, your liability options, final statement of services, etc.
In addition, you may want to consider how you’ll pay gratuity, in an effort to eliminate a cash exchange. For example, will your moving company permit tipping on the same credit card you have on file or perhaps, they’ll accept payment with a mobile payment service, such as Venmo, Google Wallet, or Cash App.
In an effort to reduce contact and exposure, you should request to complete these forms via digital format. Be advised though, many of these documents are considered to be contractual agreements and may be legally binding; therefore, it is in your best interest to review the documents just as you would with a hard copy. Fight the urge to skip along the “sign here” prompts so that you don’t overlook important details.’
To summarize: Take heart, if you’re diligent in exercising all coronavirus-related precautions suggested by the CDC, WHO and the local public health department, a successful move will not only be possible, but it will likely be safe, as well. In short, you should conduct your due diligence up front, properly vet any potential vendors prior to the big day, and work hard to manage everyone’s expectations along the way.