TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging Ontario’s REALTORS® to stop all face-to-face business, including open houses, agent and public office hours, and in-person showings, particularity of tenant-occupied homes, during the Province’s COVID-19 State of Emergency. In these unique situations, where a property listed for sale is occupied by tenants, the health and safety of those tenants, the Realtors and their clients is of utmost priority.
“Just yesterday, the Ontario Government declared Real Estate an essential service, in order to permit transactions to close. I want to make it clear that this does not mean business as usual for Ontario’s Realtors. It’s time to stop all face-to-face business including open houses, maintaining agent and public office hours and in-person showings, especially in cases where a property is tenant-occupied,” said Sean Morrison, OREA President. “As Realtors and community leaders, we must do our part to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Why put your health on the line – or the health of your client or community – for showings that can simply be postponed for a few weeks? It’s not worth the risk.”
If a client – especially one with a tenanted property – has an urgent need to sell or buy a home during the COVID-19 crisis, Realtors have the modern tools and knowledge at their disposal to do virtual showings. OREA is calling on its Realtors to work with the landlord and tenant to ensure the health and well-being of our province’s home buyers, sellers, and families remains a focus by encouraging the use of modern technology that facilitates remote interactions, such as virtual tours, video conference calls, and digital signing.
“As a society, we are experiencing extraordinary times and moving into uncharted territory of how we work and live,” said President Morrison. “While clients who may decide to host private showings during this time are making the decision for themselves, tenants often have no choice in the matter, putting the health of all those involved at risk. As Realtors, it is our responsibility to give clients the best advice possible – and that includes ending all face-to-face business until this crisis is resolved.”
OREA has previously called upon its Members to cease open houses during this time, as well as repeatedly encouraged its Members to follow Government and Public Health recommendations to help stop the spread of COVID-19 including following the clear advice of the real estate regulator, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). Across Ontario, real estate companies, brokerages and local real estate boards have asked their Members to follow government recommendations, practise sensible social distancing and end face-to-face business, including open houses, during the crisis.
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