The ban on in-person open houses has been lifted for any region that has switched from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of Ontario’s Framework for Re-opening. So, in-person open houses are now allowed across the GTA region, except for in Windsor-Essex which remains in Stage 2 for now.
But will home sellers WANT to hold open houses? What is in the seller’s best interest? This decision will need to be made on a case-by-case basis. One major factor may be whether the home is vacant, owner-occupied or tenant-occupied. In any event, the risks of exposure to infection and the level of risk to any resident of the home should be discussed before the decision is made.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board is still recommending that Realtors® 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 the seller and their Realtor® decide to conduct an in-person open house during Stage 3, then compliance with all mandatory government and public health and safety measures will need to be practiced to ensure safe showings.
If you decide to go ahead with an In-Person Open House, then consider limiting the number of groups of people in the home to one or two groups at a time, with a maximum of two people per group plus their Realtor® if they attend with one, to allow for physical distancing while inside the home. A time limit per group can be set, to allow the opportunity for more groups of people to tour the home. Furthermore, you could require the wearing of masks during the tour, and the use of hand sanitizer before and after the tour.
What would you do?
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