B.C. real estate agents urged to suspend all open houses

[BIV – November 6, 2020]

B.C.’s real estate regulation agencies have asked industry professionals to suspend holding open houses at properties slated for sale/rent due to the province’s sharp spike in COVID cases.

In a statement dated Nov. 5, the Real Estate Council of BC, the BC Real Estate Association and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate said the move is to limit face-to-face interactions in the home-buying process. Sales agents have been asked to conduct as much business virtually as possible in the meantime.

“Real estate professionals in B.C. 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,” said RECBC CEO Erin Seeley in the statement.

Last week, the B.C. Public Health Office issued an order to limit the number of people who can attend a private event at a residence to six. Given that fact, the real estate regulation agencies said agents should follow the same rules if they choose to hold in-person showings, adding that sales professionals should discuss the risks of such in-person meetings with their clients before proceeding.

“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,” said BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde in a statement.

B.C. is in the throes of a second COVID-19 wave, with daily new cases breaking the 400 mark for the first time on Thursday.

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