The Ontario Real Estate Association has offered open-house pointers for brokers, as Toronto and Peel Region have entered Stage Three of the province’s reopening strategy.
The association continued to stress the need to keep transactions online as much as possible. OREA said that if a seller insists on an open house, the broker must adhere to long-standing safety protocols like the use of personal protective equipment.
“Realtors are trusted professionals who have consistently put the health and safety of Ontarians before business, using virtual tools and safe showings,” said Sean Morrison, president of OREA. “While open houses are once again permitted by the province, we are encouraging members to work with their clients to use virtual tools and scheduled safe showings first. These tools have been successful in limiting in person contact and saving buyers and sellers time.”
OREA also strongly recommended that brokers set a time limit for in-house viewing. This will have the double benefit of limiting possible exposure to coronavirus infection and ensuring that “all guests have the opportunity to see the home during open house hours.”
Brokers should mandate that interested parties self-screen prior to their visits, according to the OREA guidelines.
“Post signage on the property entryway door stating that if people have been ill, have symptoms of COVID-19, have come in contact with a person with symptoms or a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should not enter the home,” OREA said. “Set a limit on guests. While indoor gathering limits have increased, limit the number of people in the house to groups of two plus their realtor, to allow for physical distancing.”
Brokers must conduct comprehensive disinfection of all exposed surfaces before and after each visit, OREA said.
“Provide hand sanitizer at the door and require guests to disinfect before entry,” OREA said. “Enforce ‘no touching’ rules. Open all of the interior doors and closet doors and turn on lights so that any open house visits can be completed without having to touch these surfaces.”