COVID-19 – Showings and Open Houses

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has assessed COVID-19 as a global pandemic, and the province of Ontario has declared a state of emergency.

 

Everyone has a role to play in reducing the impact of COVID-19. Real estate trades typically involve a significant amount of personal contact, particularly during showings, open houses, and in-person client communications. However, in the current environment, public health authorities are strongly encouraging social distancing. This is advice that should be taken seriously by every professional that works with the public.

 

It’s particularly important to understand how COVID-19 spreads and how to reduce the risk of illness.

 

Guidance for Open Houses and Showings

 

As a registered professional, it is your duty to support your clients in making an informed choice about hosting or attending open houses and showings.

Speak openly and honestly with your clients so that they can weigh the risks against the possible marketing benefits. In making that decision, they will want to consider the area of the province they are in, and the advice of health authorities (local, provincial and federal). This is particularly important for clients who are in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

They should also understand that there are alternative online and virtual marketing opportunities for sellers that can easily be accessed by buyers.

Though it is your client’s decision whether to hold an open house, you can decline to proceed if you are not comfortable with the risk to your health. As always, you should discuss the services you are prepared to offer with your clients.

 

In addition, before a showing or open house, you should seek to confirm whether any occupants of the property (owners or tenants) are ill, under self-isolation, have recently travelled out of the country or may have been exposed to COVID-19.

 

If you are hosting or attending an open house, consider the following:

  • Check with your brokerage regarding any special requirements it may have put in place.
  • Encourage people viewing the property to follow handwashing and sanitizing guidelines established by health officials.
  • Take steps to discourage those viewing the property from touching any surfaces in the home.
  • Consider limiting the number of people in the home at any one time and practice social distancing, as advised by local health officials.
  • Keep a list of everyone that attended the property, including the date and time and their contact information. In the event of an infection, you may be asked to provide the information to local public health authorities so they may investigate further. Note that, under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), this information can only be used for the purposes for which it was collected.

To be confident that you are taking appropriate steps to protect your clients, the public and yourself, consult online resources maintained by public health authorities (such as the Ontario Ministry of Health), and use solid judgment in applying that information.

Author: bramptonrealestateboard

At the Brampton Real Estate Board (BREB) we believe in the ownership of Real Estate. Our objective is to contribute to the capability and growth of our members in their endeavors by marketing all forms of real property throughout the greater Brampton, Halton Hills and Caledon marketplaces and beyond. The Brampton Real Estate Board is dedicated to providing an environment in which it’s Member REALTORS®, employees, Board of Directors, and Committee volunteers are encouraged to grow, succeed and develop in order to provide the highest level of professional conduct and service.

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