With the pandemic continuing to persist, is it ok to attend an open house today? New CDC (U.S. Centers For Disease Control) guidelines are giving us hope of returning to some sense of normalcy in the real estate market. Let's look at what we can expect as spring approaches and open houses begin to surface again.
The pandemic has taught us a lot about staying safe and the need to temporarily give up what we considered "normal" in the housing market. Remember when you'd see an open house sign, pull over and walk through the home? You'd shake the real estate agent's hand, sign your name on a sheet, walk through, open doors and touch surfaces and... STOP. Suddenly that ended with the introduction of COVID-19. All of the sudden, shaking hands, touching a pen that someone else touched, or being in close proximity to another person was out of the question.
In some areas of the country in late 2020, open houses slowly began to re-appear in areas where the virus was somewhat controlled. Precautions were taken including masking, keeping a safe distance, and using hand sanitizer. Attendance was low but it gave sellers and buyers hope.
Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, the CDC has introducing new guidelines that lifts the spirits of the those looking to attend open houses. People who are fully vaccinated can safely gather indoors, in small groups, without wearing a mask. When around unvaccinated people, especially those at high risk, they are still encouraged to wear a mask and social distance.
2 weeks after you've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19:
- Gather indoors in small groups of fully vaccinated people without masks or distancing
- Gather indoors with unvaccinated people, if at low risk, without masks or distancing
- After being in contact with a COVID positive individual, the vaccinated person does not have to quarantine or get tested if they have no COVID symptoms
Avoid these scenarios if you are fully vaccinated:
- Avoid medium and large gatherings or crowds
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
- Avoid gathering with other households that haven't been vaccinated
- Avoid visiting an unvaccinated person who is at high risk of severe illness
- Delay international and domestic travel and follow CDC requirements
All of this is encouraging as we approach spring, a time associated with a large number of open houses. Recently a few agents on Facebook reported that their open houses, in Atlanta and Boston, brought in 25-50 people. Depending on mandated restrictions in your area, it's likely that you will be seeing more open houses and will be able to safely attend especially if you're vaccinated.
If you're thinking about selling your home, talk to your real estate agent about the option to safely hold an open house. Homes are continuing to sell quickly so many homeowners may find there is no need for an open house. As we continue to get ahead of the virus, remember to get vaccinated, wear your mask, and social distance. There's a light at the end of the COVID tunnel!
When you're thinking about selling your home, you'll want to check out Reazo's Home Seller Resource: