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Rules for hosting an open house during a pandemic

1024 683 Nisha Muire

Toronto residents are being asked to social distance, to avoid gathering in groups and, if possible, to find alternatives to open houses when showcasing a new property on the market. While agents are being encouraged to use virtual tours and online galleries to display the homes they have listed, if your agent does want to hold an open house for a limited number of very select and serious buyers, then finding a way to to make the situation work for you is imperative at this time.

Here a few guidelines to follow if your agent insists on an open house:

1. Provide gloves and masks at the door that anyone who enters has to wear before setting foot in your home. Don’t forget to put a bag-lined garbage bin outside your home so that prospective buyers can discard the gloves and masks on their way out. And, have a pump bottle of hand sanitizer available as well so that people can disinfectant their hands before leaving.
2. Have a welcome mat at the foyer where people can remove their shoes so that they don’t track any potential germs around your home.
3. Insist that only one couple at a time be allowed into your home – it would be best to set-up meeting times at 20-minute intervals so that people don’t all come at once.
4. Ask your realtor to minimize the number of people touching your fixtures and handles by pre-empting and opening closets and doors for prospective buyers and closing things after they have looked inside.
5. Allow only those buyers who have a serious interest and/or intent on your home to visit. They should be prequalified for a loan and ready to make an offer if they want to attend the open-house. By insisting on intent, you will weed out the serious buyers from those who just want to look around.

After the open house:

– Wear gloves and a mask to dispose of the garbage containing used gloves and masks.
– Spray the hand sanitizer with disinfectant spray if you want to keep it or discard entirely.
– Roll up the welcome mat and store outside for a few days to kill any germs before bringing it back inside.
– Disinfect all door/cabinet handles, light switches and any other surfaces that would have been touched during a visit.
– Mop floors with a disinfectant.
– Open windows to air out rooms.

If you follow these simple precautions, you should be able to protect your home from any unwanted germs being tracked in during an open house. However, the first and best alternative is a virtual tour of your home. When done properly a virtual tour can be as realistic as being there in person. Contact Imaginahome for more information on how a virtual tour of your properties can work for you.


Nisha Muire

All stories by: Nisha Muire