Open houses start up again in B.C.
VANCOUVER -- After open houses were suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, realtors got creative, hosting virtual visits online.
Sheila O'Brien, co-founder of The O'Brien Group, streamed her open houses on Facebook. The livestreamed tours were recorded and posted online so interested buyers and agents could return to the page for another look. Some of the videos have had hundreds of views. And they worked, right out of the gate.
"We had an offer as a result of our first one," O’Brien said.
But now, the BC Real Estate Association and the Real Estate Council of BC say open houses are back on the table – with some new restrictions in place.
"Since the pandemic began, realtors have been adopting new technologies and practices to follow through on our responsibility to do what we can to help prevent the spread of illness," Colette Gerber, chair of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said in a release on Wednesday.
"This responsibility hasn’t changed. If you and your clients choose to hold an open house, you’ll need to strictly follow the safety measures that your profession and regulator have carefully crafted in consultation with WorkSafeBC."
Those new measures include pre-screening to make sure buyers are serious, and limiting open houses to those serious buyers.
Visitors will also be asked to wear masks and physically distance at the property, and will be logged in case contact tracing is needed.