The Ford government announced that Stage 1 of the reopening of Ontario’s economy would begin taking place last week. As such, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has released new guidelines for real estate agents dealing with buyers and sellers during this time.
The guidelines are intended to keep agents, buyers, and sellers safe during the continued COVID-19 outbreak by implementing public health restrictions, including practicing appropriate physical distancing and donning appropriate PPE when necessary, while allowing them to conduct business.
Open houses in the province have officially been shut down since April 3, and at that time, OREA asked its 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.”
The guidelines set out by OREA are as follows:
- Realtors should first and foremost continue to use virtual tools, conduct virtual open houses and virtual showings to the greatest extent possible;
- Use phone, email or video for client communications;
- Process documents, forms and acknowledgments electronically;
- Thoroughly disinfect surfaces, leave doors open and keep lights on at all-times during in-person showings; and
- When interacting with clients, maintain physical distancing and use personal protective equipment when distancing is not possible.
“The health and safety of our Realtors and their clients is OREA’s top priority during this pandemic,” says Sean Morrison, President of OREA. “As Ontario’s economy reopens, many Ontarians are looking to get back into the real estate market. Realtors are here to help make home buyers and sellers feel comfortable and safe while they work to find their dream home. OREA’s guidelines have been informed by up-to-date information from public health, best practices from the industry and experiences in jurisdictions across North America.”
A more detailed explanation of OREA’s guidelines can be found here.