Open houses in the time of COVID-19

Agencies across Canada are postponing open houses and ground-breaking ceremonies

Open houses in the time of COVID-19
Duffie Osental

As new cases of COVID-19 increase across Canada, health officials are urging people to practice “social distancing” by keeping around two metres away from others, causing many real estate agencies to cancel open houses and ground-breaking ceremonies.

In Vancouver, several agencies have even started moving more of their transactions online in the interim. Dan Scarrow, president of Macdonald Real Estate Group, told Daily Hive Vancouver that more online transactions and a “no open house” policy will be in effect until the end of the pandemic. 

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“We are taking this issue extremely seriously and have instituted a ‘no open house policy’ for the duration of the pandemic,” Scarrow said. “The current policy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is that they currently allow agents and their clients to make that decision, but I have been in touch with representatives from REBGV and am hopeful that they will do the right thing and suspend open houses for the time being.”

In another case, Homes by Avi in Calgary was forced to cancel catering for a grand opening of bungalows, instead diverting the order to the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

“It would have gone to waste had we not diverted it,” Kim Trim, marketing and communications specialist at Homes by Avi, told the Calgary Herald. “It was a nice treat for the residents, which was a bit of a silver lining to the pandemic.”