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Call to discontinue open houses amid rise in COVID-19 cases in B.C.

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A coalition of agencies associated with B.C.’s real estate industry is calling for open houses to be temporarily discontinued amid a rise in cases of COVID-19.

The Real Estate Council of BC, BC Real Estate Association, and Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate are “strongly advising” real estate profressionals not to hold open houses and to limit face-to-face interactions through the use of virtual tools.

The recommendation comes after B.C. limited the size of gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household plus your “safe six,” which refers to six additional people in your household’s bubble, and not six additional people per person living in your house.

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In July, the BCREA released new rules for realtors holding open houses, which were put on hold for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“B.C. realtors rose to the challenge of the first COVID-19 wave by embracing innovative virtual technologies to serve consumers while helping keep communities safe,” BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde said in a statement.

“With transmission rates increasing, realtors can continue to show leadership in their communities by reducing in-person interactions, wearing masks and adapting to new public health guidelines and orders.”

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— With files from Amy Judd