The Alberta Real Estate Association is lifting its ban on members hosting open houses in a phased approach, aligned with the Government of Alberta’s staged relaunch strategy.
AREA banned REALTOR® open houses during the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was an important step in protecting members and the general public, while ensuring REALTORS® could continue to serve their clients using social distancing-friendly practices like virtual open houses and modified showings.
Understanding that Alberta will continue to experience public health emergency restrictions for months to come, going forward, the open house policy will be linked to stages 1, 2 and 3 of the government relaunch strategy and restrictions will lift – or be reapplied – based on which stage Alberta’s Public Health Officer declares Alberta to be under.
It is crucial to maintain open lines of communication with your clients. Only proceed with the open house protocols if your client has approved that tactic. If your client would like to proceed with open houses but you, as a REALTOR®, are not comfortable hosting them, consider soliciting assistance from a peer in your brokerage who is comfortable with offering this service.
No client or REALTOR® should feel pressured into a situation in which they feel unsafe.
A Staged Approach
Aligning with Government of Alberta stages allows REALTORS® to apply conditions that are in keeping with Alberta Health recommendations. AREA and your local Board/Association will communicate changes in stages, but this information will also be readily available on the government website and via local media.
At each of these stages it is wise to continue making use of online meeting tools, e-signatures and other technology to limit face-to-face contact and Alberta Health’s social distancing guidelines still apply. We have included the safety protocols that should be applied in stages 1, 2 and 3 after outlining the overall restrictions. These safety protocols are in addition to the corresponding Alberta Health guidelines for each stage, found here.
To facilitate the safe implementation of each stage, we have provided safety protocol directions, an editable poster for the resident’s doorway, and we encourage you also to post the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 “Do Not Enter” poster.
Stage 1: Limited Open Houses (May 14 - June 11)
Stage 2: Conditional Open Houses (June 12 - Now)
Stage 3: Open Houses Resume (TBD)
In each of these stages, AREA recommends the following steps are taken to protect your clients and yourself.
Outside the Home:
Before the Open House:
After the Open House: