GUIDANCE ON REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS IN STAGE ONE OF ONTARIO’S FRAMEWORK FOR REOPENING THE PROVINCE

GUIDANCE ON REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS IN STAGE ONE OF ONTARIO’S FRAMEWORK FOR REOPENING THE PROVINCE via @OREA

“…When the Ontario Government declared a State of Emergency in March, OREA strongly urged its Members to immediately cease open houses, stop in-person showings and limit face-to-face interactions with clients and colleagues to only when absolutely necessary. The Government of Ontario followed OREA’s lead and prohibited in person Open Houses on April 3…

OREA called upon our Members to counsel clients to postpone any non-essential transactions until after the crisis, conduct services remotely and to utilize technological alternatives such as virtual showings and electronic signing of documents.

We are proud that REALTORS® have conducted themselves as professionals during this crisis and have followed OREA’s guidance to focus on urgent transactions only while minimizing face to face contact. Ontario REALTORS® have put the public good first throughout the crisis.

Earlier this week, the province entered the first stage of the Government’s Framework for Reopening the Province. As the Government of Ontario gradually approves measures to re-open the economy, consumers are looking to Ontario REALTORS® for advice and insight on real estate. They are also seeking guidance on health and safety best practices when buying or selling a home at this time, and on the use of electronic tools. The role and importance of a REALTOR® is greater than ever.

As the province slowly reopens, we must continue to put health and safety first in our interactions with clients, colleagues and communities more broadly. To that end, we are pleased to provide guidance on how to safely and effectively conduct business… during stage one of the Ontario Government’s reopening plan.

REALTOR® CONDUCT DURING STAGE ONE OF THE FRAMEWORK FOR
RE-OPENING THE PROVINCE

Ontario consumers appear to be increasingly interested in real estate transactions provided it is in an environment of common sense and good judgement to protect personal health and safety. Real estate health and safety measures should be focused on helping buyers and sellers engage in real estate transactions while minimizing direct contact. Utilize digital tools first and to the greatest extent possible.

DIGITAL TOOLS

REALTORS® should continue to use digital and virtual technology to interact with clients wherever possible… Three-dimensional property scans, virtual tours or live tours using Skype or Facebook; and virtual staging to showcase a property are among the great marketing opportunities REALTORS® can offer their clients.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

…It is recommended that REALTORS® use face coverings (non-medical mask such as a cloth mask) to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 when physical distancing may be challenging or not possible.

IN-PERSON SHOWINGS

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, such as masks, and cleaning and disinfection before and after the showing…

Practically, to reduce risk of transmission of the virus, at least the following should be considered in conjunction with all relevant and applicable advice, recommendations and instructions from public health officials…”

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