Best Practices for Post COVID-19 Open Houses


To maintain proper safety measures following the easing of the stay-at-home advisory, the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® has developed a list of Best Practices for conducting in-person open houses in accordance with CDC and state recommended guidelines.

We encourage you to proactively have open and honest communication with your sellers, buyers and general public in regards to reintroducing in-person open houses.

Best Practices During the Open House

  • Maintain 6-foot social distancing practices between all people at open houses.
  • Masks or cloth face covers and gloves should be worn by the agents and attendees.
  • If you have the means, make hand sanitizer available.
  • If you have the means, make disposable masks and gloves available should people show up unprepared.
  • Limit the number of people who enter the house to no more than ten (10) at a time.
    • Consider allowing only one buyer group into the home at a time if necessary.

If you choose to implement this, it is recommended that you create and display a door sign noting this policy. For example: “For safety reasons, we are only showing this property to one party at a time. We will be with you soon! Please call or text xxx-xxx-xxxx when you arrive.”

Suggestions for Preparing the Home for Viewing During an Open House

  • Reduce buyer touch points
    • Turn on lights
    • Open all doors that will need to be accessed during an open house or showing
    • Open windows for fresh air if the weather allows
    • Pull blinds and/or open curtains
    • If an attendee needs to open a cabinet, door, etc, do so for them.
    • If the seller lives at the home and there are areas of the home the seller does not wish to have the public enter, make floor plans or virtual tours/matterports of these spaces available on a laptop, iPad, etc.
  • Information and marketing materials should be delivered electronically to avoid handling paper.
    • We suggest providing an easy-to-read disclaimer displayed on a countertop (or other surface), made by your brokerage or yourself, regarding safety procedures attendees should follow during the in-person open house.
  • Modify your schedule to leave enough time to prepare for the open house and make sure it is left disinfected/cleaned afterwards, and leave enough time for any necessary cleaning between buyer groups.

High-traffic surfaces should be cleaned/disinfected pre and post open house

  • Door knobs
  • Light switches
  • Countertops
  • Handles
  • Buttons
  • Handrails

Suggested handwashing and bathroom procedures

  • Hosting agent should wash hands before and after the open house and in between buyer tours. Hosting agents should refrain from shaking hands with attendees.
  • Attendees should be able and encouraged to wash hands if needed.
  • Restrict use of the bathroom/toilet during the open house.

Virtual Open Houses

  • Schedule a Virtual Open House via a live meeting software (ex: Zoom, Facebook Live, etc.).
    • Conduct a live walk-through of the home with the ability to answer questions from attendees via a life meeting software.
    • If you are not able to be live at the property, consider setting up a listing presentation on your computer and share your screen with attendees of the live meeting. Show them the photos, video, matterport tour, floor plans, etc., also with the ability to answer questions that come in from attendees.

Virtual Tours

  • Pre-recorded Virtual Tours and Matterport Tours are another excellent way to market the property to clients and/or agents who are not yet ready to schedule an in-person appointmentor did not attend a virtual open house.
    • This gives them the opportunity to view the house at their own leisure and make an informed decision on whether to come see the property in person or not.