In spite of the real estate market remaining strong, and a surprising increase in physical open houses lately, we should not be taking the consistency of consumer confidence as any indication that we can return to pre-2020 practices in terms of physical distancing.

The health and safety of homeowners, residents and buyers should always be at the top of our minds. This past weekend, a Toronto broker held an open house at his listing, paying little regard for a tenant locked in her room with a sign on the bedroom door that read “Sorry, I’m sick”. To make matters worse, another open house occurred on Sunday, after the tenant had been moved to a hotel. There was no effort made by anyone to disinfect the property before the second wave of visitors entered. Yesterday, that resident received a positive result from a COVID-19 test. Many people were directly exposed.

If your seller is asking for physical open houses, and you want to deliver, you MUST take excessive care in ensuring not only the safety of the seller and the property, but also everyone that attends. Be serious in requiring any visitors to sign in before they enter. Restrict the number of people inside at any given time, and mandate PPE such as masks, face shields and sanitizer upon entrance and exit.

Consider asking open house visitors to register in advance, booking a 10 or 15 minute time slot to view the home to prevent overloading of visitors at any given time, and as a way to obtain contact information in advance – qualifying the buyers as serious. Strongly consider virtual open houses instead of physical ones. Review a tutorial we released on virtual open houses HERE.

With indications of a second wave, and already a tightening of gathering restrictions in social settings, we – as professionals that serve the public – have an obligation to take this responsibility seriously. As Royal LePage Realtors, we have a high level of integrity and professional consideration, and have a clear responsibility to respect these requirements.

For more information on our recommendations to conduct business safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to your branch manager, or the COVID-19 Resources section in rlpNetwork.

Safe practices!