With Ontario moving into Stage Two of its Framework for Reopening the Province, many of the restrictions we have been living with since March are beginning to ease, and more businesses and services will be permitted to open, along with community, recreational and outdoor spaces.
In its re-opening guidelines for Stage Two (available at the province’s dedicated COVID-19 website), the Ontario Government does not specifically address real estate.
The Ontario Real Estate Association (aka OREA) is pleased to continue to provide guidance on safely and effectively ramping up the real estate business as we move into the “Restart” stage and towards Phase Three – Recovery, to meet consumer demand.
REALTOR® CONDUCT DURING STAGE TWO OF THE FRAMEWORK FOR RE-OPENING THE PROVINCE
As has been done throughout this pandemic, home buyers and sellers are turning to their REALTOR® for advice and insight on making important real estate transactions while protecting their health and safety.
All REALTORS® are encouraged to have an open and frank conversation with their clients about the expectations and realities of conducting real estate business during the COVID-19 pandemic, including what can be realistically executed and what is currently prohibited.
With a State of Emergency in effect in Ontario until at least July 15, a prohibition on open houses remains in place. OREA will continue to call upon our Members to conduct services remotely and to utilize technological alternatives such as virtual showings and electronic signing of documents first and to the greatest extent possible.
OREA also strongly recommends continuing its Stage One safety measures during in-person property showings.
When the Ontario Government declared a State of Emergency in March, OREA strongly urged its Members to immediately cease open houses. The Government of Ontario followed OREA’s lead and prohibited in-person open houses on April 3.
In-person open houses remain prohibited by the Government of Ontario to protect the health and safety of everyone in Ontario. Virtual open houses are permitted and encouraged.
If your client decides that an in-person showing is necessary, conduct as much business as possible virtually before hosting or participating in an in-person showing. If a private in-person showing of a property occurs, all local health officials’ instructions (including those of municipal local health officials) must be followed. Particularly relevant will be guidance around physical distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, and cleaning and disinfection before and after the showing.
We strongly recommend that clients view online photos, watch virtual tours, drive past the property they are interested in, before requesting an in-person showing. This way, the sellers know that the buyers are serious.
For a more indepth look at the Guidelines for Stage 2, visit the OREA COVID-19 Information Hub.
The Baverstock Team is here to assist you in anyway with finding your next home, marketing your current home for sale or searching for investment property. Contact us today and let’s talk!