Open houses across the country are being cancelled, but individual showings are still available, says Central Alberta Realtors Association executive officer Larry Westergard. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS

Realtors trying to adapt to ‘current situation’

Open houses closed around country

Real estate agents have to adapt to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, says the Central Alberta Realtors Association’s executive officer.

“We’re facing a lot of unique circumstances right now, so you try best to modify normal life to the current situation,” Larry Westergard said Tuesday.

Potential homebuyers will need to have scheduled appointments, because all open houses have been cancelled.

“That’s not only a local decision, but that’s a provincial and national decision,” said Westergard.

“That’s out of respect for the current health crisis we’re in. We’re trying to follow the recommendations and guidelines the provincial government has put forward.”

One of the concerns surrounding open houses is that they are completely “open to the public,” said Westergard.

“There’s no guarantee on how many people will actually be coming in and interacting in that period. We’re very mindful of the fact that you don’t have that ability to adequately screen everyone who’s entering the home and interacting with other people who are visiting it, the realtor member, or the seller.

“You can’t control if the virus is being left on the seller’s light switches or door handles, and such. We’re trying to be very mindful and respectful of everybody involved in the realty transaction,” said Westergard.

Individual showings are still available, he added.

“It’s a lot more of a controlled environment. We do have some guidelines we’ve sent out to our members, as far as questions that should be asked of a buyer who wants to look at a home, and to the seller as well.

“If there’s been any exposure, if there are any concerns, so we can adequately assess if that showing should go ahead.”

The pandemic has impacted the industry, Westergard added.

“There has been a downturn, so you are seeing less activity out there,” he said.

“These are different times. I think that we are trying to respect everything the government says about how if you don’t have to go out, stay home and trying to balance that with the need to service our clients who need to still look for a home.”



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thorsby RCMP make arrest during break and enter in progress

The residence was not occupied at the time of the offence

Alberta’s new sport fishing regulations include more harvesting opportunities

The 2020 regulations feature more opportunities for recreational fishing and online licences

TC Energy enlists Alberta to help finish US$8-billion Keystone XL project

Alberta government has agreed toinvest about US$1.1 billion (C$1.5 billion) as equity in the project

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

A message from the publisher

In good times and bad the Pipestone Flyer been here to provide valuable and trustworthy news.

Police in Saskatchewan charge man with killing his parents and son

Police in Saskatchewan charge man with killing his parents and son

PM, Scheer among MPs to donate pay hike to charities during COVID-19 crisis

PM, Scheer among MPs to donate pay hike to charities during COVID-19 crisis

Feds likely didn’t have enough protective gear in emergency stockpile: Hajdu

Feds likely didn’t have enough protective gear in emergency stockpile: Hajdu

Supply-line disruptions could cause Canadian drug shortage

Supply-line disruptions could cause Canadian drug shortage

Duration of COVID-19 measures depends on obeying health authorities: PM

Duration of COVID-19 measures depends on obeying health authorities: PM

Parliament to sit again to approve more COVID-19 relief as spending climbs

Parliament to sit again to approve more COVID-19 relief as spending climbs

Trudeau: U.S. standing down plan to send soldiers to backstop northern border

Trudeau: U.S. standing down plan to send soldiers to backstop northern border

Most Read