According to the provincial government stage three reopening is coming to Toronto by the end of the month. For real estate agents and our clients, this means that we will again be able to host open houses. But should we? Our real estate board (TRREB) polled all of its members on the issue and it seems that there is a majority of agents who believe that open houses are important and should be allowed to continue. We completely disagree. Sale prices across all housing categories are up by approximately 11% from June 2019 to June 2020. This is despite the COVID shutdown. We have not run open houses since mid-march and the market has barrelled forward. Open houses put agents, seller clients and prospective buyer clients at risk unnecessarily. COVID has clearly demonstrated that there is no correlation between sale prices and open houses.
While some amount of risk is necessary in a post COVID world to keep the economy from crashing, we should be exercising extreme caution in opening up non-essential events. If canceling all future open houses increases the chances of children going back to school and slows down a potential second wave of COVID then we need to cancel open houses. Especially because it has been demonstrated that, economically, they don’t make any difference. For the sake of our clients, families, and the broader community, we will continue to run our business very carefully until it is safe to do otherwise. We pre-screen all our clients, maintain social distance at all times, enforce mask and glove-wearing, and do as much as we can virtually. We are all in this together for the long-haul. Let’s keep each other healthy.
The Kim Kehoe Team