The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) advised its approximately 14,000 Realtor members to refrain from holding open houses on Thursday (March 19).
Previously, the REBGV advised its members to follow government recommendations and limit social interactions.
When Kristy Masaro never meets a client without hand sanitizer.
In fact, Masaro said she was bringing sanitizer to open houses since long before there were any concerns over the new virus.
“Any time we go out, we always bring hand sanitizer with us, because realtors touch the most disgusting items in people’s homes,” she said.
They come into contact with everything that is most frequently handled – door knobs, light switches, toilet seats and so forth.
Masaro has even been handing out small pen-sized containers of hand sanitizer at her open houses, she noted.
The Langley realtor isn’t sure people will stop coming to open houses when they are looking for a home. The photos online don’t seem to give people a complete idea of what a home is like, she said.
She did advise that anyone feeling sick shouldn’t go out to an open house.
What’s unknown now, as events are cancelled and sports teams go on hiatus, is how big an impact the coronavirus and its economic spinoffs will have on real estate.
One of her colleagues has a client who was planning to use money invested in the stock market to buy a home, but that plan was upended by the crash over the last few days.
The Bank of Canada has slashed interest rates by half a percent, which should benefit buyers, Masaro noted.
At this point, many people are waiting to see what happens, with major event cancellations and the stock market plunge having just happened.
The local housing market had been recovering over the last six months after a slow period in 2018 and 2019.