Real Estate Professionals Urged to Stop Open Houses: Regulators and Provincial Association Recommend Virtual Tools
CATEGORY: News Releases
TAGS: COVID-19 Health Guidelines Open Houses Public Safety Virtual Tours
For Immediate Release
Vancouver, BC - November 05, 2020. The regulatory agencies overseeing real estate professionals in BC and the provincial association representing REALTORS® are calling on real estate professionals across the province to protect public health and safety by temporarily discontinuing open houses. With cases of COVID-19 on the rise in BC, the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC), the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA), and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) are together strongly advising real estate professionals not to hold open houses for properties for sale or rent, to limit face-to-face interactions and to use virtual tools whenever possible.
"RECBC, BCREA, and OSRE share the position that open houses should not be held at this time," said Erin Seeley, CEO of RECBC. "Protecting the public during the pandemic remains our top concern. Real estate professionals in BC have been very successful in using virtual tools to limit in-person interactions with clients, and we encourage them to continue those innovative practices to keep themselves, their clients, and community members safe."
The recommendation to temporarily end open houses follows the issuing of an order last week by the Public Health Office limiting the number of attendees at an event in a private residence to six. Real estate professionals must follow the guidance from the public health office when conducting any in-person showings. Real estate professionals are advised to continue discussing the risks of in-person showings with their clients, and to recommend that their clients use virtual tools to show and view properties.
Darlene Hyde, CEO of BCREA, said "BC Realtors rose to the challenge of the first COVID-19 wave by embracing innovative virtual technologies to serve consumers while helping keep communities safe. With transmission rates increasing, Realtors can continue to show leadership in their communities by reducing in-person interactions, wearing masks and adapting to new public health guidelines and orders."
Micheal Noseworthy, Superintendent of Real Estate, noted "It is important for the real estate industry to maintain public trust and confidence by continuing to work in a manner that protects the public. By following the advice and recommendations of the regulators, public health officials, and government, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19, while continuing to provide essential real estate services that British Columbians rely on in their daily lives.
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