The MLS will monitor use of the term “Open House” to determine whether it is a false or misleading representation which subjects participants to violation of C.A.R. Model MLS Rule 12.10 False or Misleading Advertising and Representations; True Picture Standard of Conduct and can also subject the listing to immediate removal from active display in accordance with MLS rules granting broad removal rights under such circumstances.
As a reminder to REALTORS®, under the Departments of Public Health and Cal/Osha’s “Industry Guidance: Real Estate Transactions” (“Industry Guidance”) for real estate transactions, REALTORS® must not hold traditional open houses or showings that are open to the general public on a walk-in basis. Note: this is interpreted to mean that appointments need to be made in advance and not at the location of the showing. In other words, this is a showing, not an open house in the traditional sense.
REALTORS® should use an appointment or digital sign-in process to control the number of people at the house. If you are going to hold a non-traditional “Open House,” then any “Open House” signs or ads must include a rider or express condition that appointments or digital sign-in are required before entry. Showings should be done virtually, whenever possible. Only one listing agent and one “buying party” (including the buyer’s agent) may be in the dwelling at the same time.
Additionally, all visitors must sign a PEAD-V form and deliver it electronically to the listing agent in advance of entering the property. The form should be signed on the day of entry, or if not possible or pragmatic, then no earlier than 24-hours before entry. Doing this accomplishes several things: a) It is an agreement that the visitor will comply with the Posted “Rules for Entry Showings” (Form PRE); b) The visitor acknowledges receiving and agrees to the Prevention Plan; and c) The visitor attests they are not, to the best of their knowledge, afflicted with COVID-19, among other things.
Important! If a city or county in which you do your business activity has an order with a more restrictive standard on real estate activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee. In other words, if there is a more restrictive local order, it must still be followed.