March 11, 2021
Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
Position on Open Houses
Please be advised of the current position from DHHS as recently outlined in an FAQ on its website regarding Open Houses:
Q: What gathering rules apply to open house events and private real estate showings?
A: Any event that takes place in or at a residence must adhere to the residential gathering limits – even if the residence is vacant. Accordingly, open houses, real estate showings, and all other events at residential properties must not exceed 15 people from 3 households indoors at the same time.
Open houses can be held; however, no more than three households (the listing agent and two prospective buyer households) can be inside the home at one time. Seller clients may still authorize non-traditional open houses whereby the listing agent can advertise parameters for seeing the property in advance, requiring some form of sign-in with the listing agent that the prospective buyer has arrived, and the prospective buyer would wait in their vehicle until they are notified that it is their turn to tour the home. This way, the listing agent is able to ensure that only three households are in the residence at a given time. Of course, it must also be an arrangement that the Seller is comfortable with.
While this issue will continue to be a hot topic, the above FAQ at least answers with certainty the current position from DHHS. We continue to advocate to the Governor and DHHS for additional flexibility for real estate gatherings. We will communicate any changes going forward.