TORONTO: The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) has issued an Open House Guidance document to its 56,000 REALTOR® Members, similar to British Columbia and Alberta.
TRREB Members should begin to rethink their in-person open house practices to protect themselves, consumers and their communities from COVID-19.
The Ontario Government has lifted the prohibition on in-person real estate open houses in York, Halton and Durham Regions effective Friday, July 24, 2020, as those Regions enter Stage 3 of the provincial reopening.
Peel Region and the City of Toronto are expected to follow suit by the end of the month.
Lisa Patel, TRREB President said: “TRREB is still recommending that its Members continue using alternative marketing strategies for sellers, such as virtual open house tours that can easily be accessed by buyers, and to conduct in-person open houses as a last resort. “If directed by a seller to conduct an in-person open house during Stage 3, Members should comply with all required government and public health and safety measures to ensure safe showings,” Patel said.
“While in-person open houses should be a last resort, the decision to hold an open house will be at the real estate brokerage level following all public health and safety protocols and subject to their client’s decision and the risk to the REALTOR®.
The provincial State of Emergency was also lifted on Friday, July 24, and TRREB is therefore resuming the in-person open house property listing feed to public facing websites TRREB.ca, REALTOR.ca and the internal TRREB MLS® System for those Regions that have entered Stage 3,” said John DiMichele, TRREB CEO.
If it becomes necessary to host open houses, TRREB is recommending the following measures to TRREB REALTOR® Members as outlined in the TRREB Open House Guidance document:
• Consider your clients’ best interests. It’s important to discuss all the different risk factors and precautions with clients.
• Understand the safety protocols to follow.
• Leverage technology to reduce in-person interactions.
• Use your professional judgment on public health safety guidelines and protocols.
• Anticipate and respond to community concerns.
• Limit open house attendance and manage consumer expectations. Wherever possible, encourage pre-registration and/or a schedule for attending an open house.
• Plan in advance regarding personal protective equipment, cleaning protocols, signage and
managing physical distancing outside and inside the home.
• Keep safety in mind during the open house, and limit the number of people to one family
group in the property at a time.
• Consider the requirements of multi-tenanted properties.
• Safely conclude the open house.
Consumers attending in-person open houses should expect the following:
• Will need to sign in.
• Will need to wear a mask.
• Will need to follow directions and keep their distance.
• Look, don’t touch.
• Wash your hands.
• Keep everything clean.
• Pre-screen the home.