Open Houses on a walk-in basis are still prohibited. All showings still require either an appointment or a digital sign-in process prior to entry including completing a PEAD form. Any such showings still must follow these rules: (1) Have protective equipment made available like masks and hand sanitizer (2) Thoroughly clean all shown properties and disinfect commonly used areas such as doors and door knobs, cabinet handles, switches, etc. (3) Control the number of people in the house by only allowing in one buying party at a time (which could be more than one person). The listing agent and buyer’s agent may also be on the property at the same time. (4) All showings require appointments OR digital sign-ins.
Based on this, an advertisement using the term “Open House” alone is likely deceptive as it implies a walk-in basis without the mandatory appointments/digital sign-in protocols that are not typical for an “Open House.” Although it is recommended that no “Open House” signs be used, if they are, they must also include information on the sign or a sign rider indicating that appointments or digital sign-in are required before entry. Of course, the regular protocols of advance digital completion of PEAD forms before entering, social distancing, limitations on persons going through the house at one time, cleaning and disinfecting between each showing, etc. apply. Any type of traditional open houses — spontaneous walk-up with no digital sign-in or appointment or adherence to all protocols—would threaten the policy allowing licensees to show property and, worse, threaten the health of the seller and those visiting potentially causing a super-spreader event.