SDAR Announces that Open Houses Can Resume with Restrictions

The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) received the good news this past week that the California Department of Public Health has updated its guidance on property showings and open houses for REALTORS® and their clients.

Effective immediately in-person showings of properties, like open houses, are now permitted in California, as long as they follow indoor gathering capacity limits. San Diego County is currently in the “orange tier” in which indoor gatherings are still discouraged but are allowed where capacity is 25 people or fewer.

Open houses are a means for potential buyers to view properties listed throughout our communities and are often held on weekends to attract more attention to homes on the market. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit over a year ago, open houses on a walk-in basis were prohibited. In California, all home showings required an appointment and, in some cases, a special “Property Entry Advisory and Declaration” (PEAD) form signed by the seller, buyer, and agents prior to entering a property. With this change, forms are still recommended but this is a step toward business “as usual” in real estate.

“Our members at SDAR look forward to welcoming prospective buyers back to open houses, one of our most tried-and-true traditions and tools for home selling,” said SDAR President Carla Farley. “The internet may be a fast way to find a home, but nothing beats touring the home in person with the guidance and expertise from a REALTOR®”

Of course, people who are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms are not permitted to attend open houses, and physical distancing and precautions like face coverings and hand sanitizer should still be administered. Governor Gavin Newsom says that California’s mask mandate will remain in force until June 15. There may be additional requirements in place locally.

“We are excited that open houses can resume, and that we are on track for some normalcy,” said Michael Mercurio, SDAR CEO. “As the largest real estate member association in San Diego, our REALTOR® members play a significant role in helping more San Diegans realize the dream of homeownership in 2021.”