COVID-19 – Communications, Showings and Open Houses

The World Health Organization (WHO) has assessed COVID-19 as a global pandemic, and the province of Ontario has declared a state of emergency. Everyone has a role to play in reducing the impact of COVID-19. I am following the advice that is provided by Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) and Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) for the pandemic time.


  • Before any showing or open house, I seek to confirm whether any occupants of the property (owners or tenants) or my clients are ill, under self-isolation, have recently travelled out of the country or may have been exposed to COVID-19. 


  • request my clients or attendees to notify their Realtor if they become ill within two weeks of an open house or showing. If an attendee does become sick or is diagnosed with COVID-19, communicate this with the homeowner and other attendees if possible.


  • ask the people who are viewing the property to follow handwashing and sanitizing guidelines established by health officials and avoid touching any surfaces in the home at showings time.


  • consider limiting the number of people in the home at any one time and observe social distancing, as advised by local health officials and ask my clients to thoroughly clean and disinfect the house after open houses or any viewings.


  • Technology has advanced greatly and my client(s) can sign and submit offers without anyone coming face-to-face if you are high risk and/or greatly concerned about the Corona Virus. 


  • have alternative online marketing opportunities for sellers that can easily be accessed by buyers. I use virtual tours, 360 walk-throughs, and digital floorplans instead of in-person viewings.


  • use electronic documents and signatures, instead of paper documents and communicating with clients via written communications, smartphone technology applications, and video conferencing, instead of face-to-face.


  • prefer to avoid Open Houses and I am not comfortable with the risk to every one health with physical expressions like hugging or handshaking.


  • If client(s) insists on holding an open house or on viewing properties: TRREB strongly discourages open houses or in-person showings. However, in the event my client(s) insists on you providing these services, and me and my Brokerage are personally comfortable with doing so, then I set out in writing for my client(s) all of the risks associated with providing such services during this COVID-19 pandemic and that I have my client acknowledge such risks in writing along with their written instructions to proceed. -


  • When I acting for a client(s) that is a landlord, my client(s) has legal obligation to ensure their tenant(s) are residing in a safe environment. 


  • Keep a two-metre radius: If Realtors and clients do interact, it's a good idea to follow Health Canada's guideline to keep a two-metre radius from others when out in public, and to practise "social distancing." Realtors and their clients should stay in isolation if you're showing any symptoms of being sick.