B.C. realtors advised not to hold open houses during COVID-19 second wave

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — If you’re the kind of person who likes to see a home in person before you buy it, that might be a little challenging for the next little while.

Realtors in our province are being strongly advised not to hold open houses as we deal with the second wave of COVID-19.

This advice is coming from regulators and the provincial association, and is intended to be temporary as virus cases surge.

“Realtors jumped on the virtual bandwagon pretty quickly,” says BC Real Estate Association chief executive Darlene Hyde, saying she believes sales won’t take a hit as a result of this change.

“They were able to adapt open houses to the virtual means and the virtual mode, and we’re confident they can do that in the second wave.”

Realtors are still allowed to hold in-person showings, although they are reminded that the six-person public health order for private gatherings applies to them as well.

“Protecting the public during the pandemic remains our top concern,” says Erin Seeley, CEO of the Real Estate Council of B.C. in a statement. “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 real estate market has proven remarkably resilient during the pandemic, with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reporting that October sales were the second best on record, with home purchases up 29 percent compared with the same month last year.