Masks now required at home showings in new guidance for B.C. realtors

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      It used to be that signs and brochures are mostly what realtors bring when they show homes.

      Now they have to have masks for everyone attending the open house.

      It’s part of the new normal in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

      The wearing of masks is a prominent feature in guidance released Wednesday (July 8) for realtors in B.C.

      The directions for conducting open houses were developed by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), Real Estate Council of British Columbia, and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate, with support from WorkSafeBC.

      “Require anyone entering the home to wear a mask, including other real estate professionals,” the guidance states.

      Moreover, “Consider how you will communicate this to consumers ahead of the open house, and what you will do if a consumer refuses to wear a mask or doesn’t have one.”

      “Consider having disposable masks available at every open house for this eventuality,” the document advises.

      The guidance also recommends the use of signage asking consumers to “wear masks in the home and in common areas for multi-tenanted properties”.

      The signage is also to tell prospective buyers to “wash or sanitize their hands prior to entering the home”, and to “avoid using the washroom(s) in the home”.

      Realtors, whenever possible, are also to encourage pre-registration, and ask consumers to, among others, “ensure they are prequalified”, and review the listing details and photos in full.

      Also, buyers are to be advised to “bring their own masks and other personal protective equipment as required”.

      Physical distancing is also to be followed.

      "Don’t shake consumers’ hands or engage in physical contact," the guidance reads.

      Home sellers are to disinfect things commonly touched like door handles and counters before and after the open house.

      In a media release, BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde stated that realtors will “continue taking every opportunity to use technology to reduce in-person contact”.

      Virtual showings and executing documents remotely are among the tasks that can be done remotely.

      “When it comes to resuming open houses, this guidance will support Realtors in adapting their practices to help ensure the safety of their clients and the broader public,” Hyde said.

      The guidance for B.C. realtors is found here.