The Council for Estate Agencies published an advisory on Monday to strictly enforce an eight-persons-a-day policy for house viewing with effect from the next day.
While I understand the need to do this to comply with the new requirements to counter the risk of Covid-19 infection in the community, the activities involved in a house gathering are rather different from a house viewing.
A typical visit to the home of a relative or friend would entail the removal of masks and close interaction, and thus there is a need to limit the number of people in such activities.
However, during house viewings, visitors and home owners wear masks and observe social distancing during a session which typically lasts around 15 minutes.
The eight-people limit will mean fewer viewings and those who need to sell their home urgently may be forced to lower their asking price, or they may have to extend the deadline for the sale of their property, which may come with financial costs.
I suggest an alternative: all parties to wear face masks during the house viewing, maintain safe distancing, limit the viewing time to around 20 minutes, after which there should be disinfection of high-touch areas before the next viewers arrive.
This would help both home buyers and sellers to achieve their goals while complying with the intention behind the Covid-19 precautions.
Ong Kok Hien