As you know, the Ontario Government ordered most workplaces to close-down effective Tuesday, March 24, at 11:59 p.m. This measure is to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Government has created a list of 75 “essential” services, which are businesses that are allowed to stay open, including “Land registration services, and real estate agent services and moving services.”
Why was “real estate” deemed essential?
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA – our governing body) asked for the essential service designation and for the Land Registry Office to stay open because there are thousands of transactions in Ontario right now that have yet to close officially. Every one of them is different.
While some may not require the help of a REALTOR® to close, others will. OREA was concerned that if REALTORS® were not permitted to support these transactions, those families and businesses could have been left high and dry.
Many other professional services appear in the essential list, including banking, lawyers, and accountants. Shutting down these sectors completely, like real estate, could have had huge unintended consequences for consumers and a damaging domino impact on other deals.
What does this all mean?
It does NOT mean business as usual.
We have been instructed to stop face-to-face business, including open houses, in-person showings, and maintaining agents and public office hours.
The Government gave the “essential” label to real estate to permit transactions to close – NOT to allow REALTORS® to carry on with normal business practices during a crisis.
So to answer our question – Are we open or closed?, YES we are! Even though the personal touch is no longer acceptable at this particular time, we are still here to help you with your real estate needs. We can be reached by email Gary@TheBaverstockTeam.ca, or by phone 519-622-7677. We would love to hear from you.