How have open houses changed with COVID-19?
Visiting Open Houses has been a favorite activity of home buyers for decades. Long before HGTV, this was an attractive, non-committal way of exploring neighborhoods, or getting good interior design ideas.
In fact, my husband and I made an offer on our first home after visiting an open house back in the 90’s. I had visited EVERY open house for many weeks to get an understanding of the market. I knew when we saw this one it would go fast and it was priced right.
Open Houses Now
Times change, and home buying in 2020 especially!
With a 2nd wave of COVID-19 lurking around the corner I ask the question- do you feel your safety is protected at open houses?
If you skipped the video, I understand! 😊 Long story short, I’ve been using open houses as an opportunity to preview homes on behalf of my clients.
Surprisingly I’ve found a wide range of COVID-19 precautions in use and quite often, lack of.
What are the guidelines?
Just to be clear, the guidelines and requirements from the National Association of Realtors AND the State of Pennsylvania require:
✅ masks for everyone (I also provide gloves)
✅ COVID-19 health questionnaire, filled out, signed with contact info
✅ no more than 3 people in the home at a time
At recent open houses I’ve hosted at my seller’s request, out of curiosity I’ve asked people what their experiences have been, and how they feel about it. Me playing ‘Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking”, on the street reporter‘ (more 90’s flashbacks) 🤣💥
What I’ve heard from you
Many commented that it was uncomfortable, but also expressed a desire to look at homes casually trying to sort out what their dream buying goals are – and learn neighborhoods. Just as it always has been.
One lady thanked me for providing gloves. She said has had to do the “Molly Shanon” from Superstar to avoid touching anything as she walks through other open houses!
I’m proud to say our broker at KW Main Line requires us to strictly abide by these standards. However, at other open houses on the Main Line, I’ve seen realtors letting unlimited groups of people in the house at the same time, and no COVID questionnaire – but at least they had masks on!
It’s always been my business practice to put my client’s needs first. Providing virtual access via video and live streaming is something I adapted early in my career to make it more convenient for my buyer clients, whether they were early in the process or trying to make a short term decision.
Now, more than ever, this type of VIP, concierge service offers you both convenience (saving time) and safety!
What are your thoughts?
Please share and comment. Are you attending open houses instead of booking an appointment? May I ask why? Look forward to hearing your input.