4 Ways to Avoid Potential Buyers’ Cold and Flu Germs
Your house is on the market, so potential buyers will naturally be coming inside to look around for “a showing”. It's normal for this to make a seller feel like their privacy is disrupted a bit. But, if you are a germaphobe, having strangers enter and wander around—with their germs—may be cringe-worthy!
Here are 4 key ways to keep germs at bay and still sell your house:
- Ask guests and potential buyers to remove their shoes. When shoes are kept on inside your house, hundreds of thousands of germs are being spread everywhere those shoes wander.
- Shoes can bring in anything from bacteria to toxins, to dust, and plain old dirt. There is evidence that will show that you're not overreacting to shoe germs. The University of Arizona conducted a study and found that the average pair of shoes had more than 420,000 units of bacteria on their soles—including the dreaded E. coli virus.
- Create a “mudroom” space if you don’t have a mudroom. Add an entry bench with shoe storage, or a mat to place shoes on as visual reminders. Post a gently-worded sign by this area, or at the door, and ask your Realtor to request that shoes be removed.
- Buy disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Influenza is very transmissible, and survives on hard surfaces, countertops, door knobs, and handles for 24 to 48 hours. But, it is easily killed by alcohol-based hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and even just soap and water.
- After each showing, wipe down all light switches, doorknobs, handles, and cabinet pulls with a disinfectant wipe.
- Make sure your bathrooms are well stocked with soap and disposable hand towels.
- Have hand sanitizer out to visually encourage everyone who enters to use it.
- Wash towels with hot water once a week. Prospective buyers aren't touching everything in your home, but they are entering the bathroom, and perhaps using it. If they have a cough, or wash their hands, their germs can land on those towels.
- Once a week, wash towels in the washing machine on the hottest setting.
- Sterilize kitchen and bathroom surfaces twice a week. When it comes to germs, the kitchen and bathrooms are the worst breeding grounds. Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant wipes at least once a day.
- Be watchful for mold and mildew. Use liquid household bleach or cleaners with bleach to remove mildew stains from shower doors, shower curtains, and grout between tiles.
- Put household sponges in the dishwasher to sanitize them at least every couple of days.
Cold and flu season is upon us, but you can take control and limit the number of germs you have coming into your home and hanging around after potential buyers leave. Talk to your Realtor about having guests remove their shoes at the door, and any other showing advice they may have.