Latest NWMLS Update: Limited Open Houses Permitted with Restrictions
It's no joke. Open Houses are back, but nothing about COVID-19 has changed. Be safe. Be smart. Be expedient. Be well.
On October 6th, the Governor announced that limited open houses are now permitted in Phase 1.5, Phase 2, and Phase 3 counties.
In order to hold an open house, the firm and broker must take measures to ensure that occupancy is restricted to the gathering size permitted by the current county phase and all other required protocols are followed (face coverings, social distancing, sanitation, etc.)
For Phase 1.5 and Phase 2 counties - no more than five (5) people, in addition to the broker, may be in the property at any one time. For Phase 3 counties - no more than ten (10) people, in addition to the broker, may be in the property at any one time.
Brokers must strictly adhere to the occupancy restrictions for open houses. Firms should develop processes that brokers follow to ensure compliance, including the following:
- Post signs at the property (e.g. on the open house signs, at the front door, inside the property etc.) alerting the public to the occupancy restriction and reminding the public to wear face coverings and social distance.
- Brokers need to carefully monitor the number of persons on site at any one time and not admit more than the allowed number of persons into the property.
- Brokers need to constantly monitor the front door and potentially lock the door from time to time to prohibit additional persons from entering.
- Firms may consider assigning two brokers to an open house - one to stand outside and monitor the number of persons admitted to the property, and the other to be inside the property.
- Brokers must enforce the face covering requirement.
- Persons waiting to enter the property must social distance and wear face coverings.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces, before and after the open house, and have sanitizer placed around the property.
- Because contact tracing in the event of an outbreak is important, brokers should maintain contact information for all attending an open house.
- Please keep in mind that the firm and broker hosting an open house are at risk of criminal and civil liability for failure to fully comply with the required protocols.
Washington Realtors and Northwest MLS have created the following signs and a sign-in sheet that brokers can use for open houses.
- Sign alerting the public to the occupancy restriction for Phase 1.5 and 2 and Phase 3 counties
- Sign reminding the public to wear face coverings and social distance
- A sign-in sheet including contact information for all attending an open house.