Open houses are closed: uncertainty for Manitoba realtors during coronavirus pandemic

If you’re in the market for a new home, it might be a little harder to continue with your search due to the new coronavirus.

A coalition of Manitoba-based realtors say open houses will be closed until the COVID-19 pandemic has ceased.

Peter Squire of WinnipegREALTORS said his organization, Brandon Area Realtors and the Manitoba Real Estate Association came together to make the decision.

Squire told 680 CJOB the decision was the right thing to do, and he’s not sure what’s in store for the industry as the pandemic continues.

“We’re telling our members across the province to not be carrying on with any open houses,” he said.

“(The market) is very attractive in terms of the rates and what’s available, but that’s going to take second place, obviously, to people’s health and safety going forward.”

Showings can still continue, Squire said, but realtors in the province are following increased guidelines.

“There are still a lot of listings available for sale, but, of course, members are being very discriminate in how they deal with this current situation,” he said.

“We’ll obviously have to adjust if there’s more requirements in the next few days.”

In a joint statement Monday, the three organizations urged local realtors to find alternative ways to let potential buyers see their properties, including video and virtual tours.

“Open houses are only one branch on a tree of options to promote and educate buyers and sellers,” said Brandon Area Realtors president Mandy King.

“It is our duty to protect our clients and colleagues where we can at this time.”

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