The real estate industry has been identified as part of the Government’s ‘Essential’ list in Ontario. This was done primarily to help ensure that sales agreements already entered into would be able to close, ownership transfers could occur and those in need of finding a home are able to do so. We’re a huge part of Canada’s economy with a responsibility to do our best for our families, our clients & our communities.Real estate, as reliant as it is on human interaction, has been hit hard by the pandemic. COVID-19 has been changing the way we do business every day. Brokerages and realtors are working to re-invent how we buy and sell homes.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) advises that Members refrain from face-to-face real estate practices to the greatest extent possible during the State of Emergency as they continue to satisfy their ethical duties to their clients. Members have a responsibility to protect their own safety, as well as the safety of their colleagues, clients, and the general public. Members should adapt their practice to ensure that their professional activities are safe and comply with all guidance provided by Health Canada, the Province of Ontario and medical professionals.
The Government of Ontario prohibits real estate brokerages, brokers and salespeople from hosting and attending open houses. In addition, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) recommends looking at digital technological solutions that can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for in-person interactions and discussing alternatives with clients.
How we will continue to offer essential real estate services?
- Using virtual tours, 360 walk-throughs, mobile measurement applications and digital floorplans instead of in-person viewings
- Using electronic documents and signatures, instead of paper documents
- Using electronic funds transfers instead of certified cheques
- Communicating with clients via written communications, smartphone technology applications, and video conferencing, instead of face-to-face
We’re at a critical phase with this pandemic, and we all have to do our part to be successful in confronting this challenge. The key message is that health and safety remain paramount and we will take prudent and common sense precautions to limit the risk of unnecessary exposure to, and transmission of, Covid-19.