Open Houses—Do You Still Need to Be Cautious About Covid-19?

January 12, 2023
8:00 am

Covid-19 precautions have relaxed as the number of cases and severity of the virus have receded. So as a real estate professional, must you still take precautions when interacting with buyers and sellers? The answer is yes. Covid-19 is still out there, and today’s variants are more easily transmissible than some previous ones.  Let’s look at one aspect of those interactions, with seven protective steps you should take when holding an open house.

Protecting visitors to your open house

First, check the Covid restrictions state or local health authorities require you to follow in the area of your open house. Rules vary among states and counties.  Some may still require social distancing and masks, even though those practices are generally now left to people’s discretion.

Take these basic steps with your open houses, whatever your local requirements may be:

  • Make a virtual tour available as an alternative to in-person visits. Post a link to the listing’s virtual tour in your online marketing of the open house and on signage and flyers. People concerned about Covid can view the house digitally. Be sure to include drone footage of the home from all angles, so buyers can see the outside and the inside. 
  • Before the open house, spend time thoroughly sanitizing commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, drawer and cabinet pulls, light switches and faucet handles. 
  • Have a supply of disposable masks at the front door for those who want to wear one but forgot theirs.
  • If masks are an official requirement in your area, post a sign at the front door saying so. If they are optional, post a sign saying that, and consider a line that says something like, “Whether you choose to mask or not, please respect our visitors who choose differently.” Airlines have implemented this announcement to defuse potential conflict.
  • Include in your marketing materials a request that anyone who has experienced Covid-like symptoms in the last few days refrain from attending. Suggest that they take your virtual tour instead.
  • If you offer refreshments, do so only in self-contained packaging. Drinks should be in single-serve cans or bottles, and snacks should be individually wrapped. No drinks dispensed into cups or plates of warm cookies, no matter how much you’ll miss them!
  • Create your own QR code for the property that leads to the webpage about the listing. If visitors are hesitant to handle flyers, they can scan the code, and the listing will appear on their phones.

By accommodating those who are still cautious as well as those more relaxed about Covid-19, you keep your pool of potential buyers as deep as possible. Whether you are planning to host your first open house or want a refresher, download our ultimate checklist to ensure that your open house is successful and generates leads.