The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has published its latest guidelines on home purchase transactions in the era of COVID-19.
“The health and safety of our realtors and their clients is OREA’s top priority during this pandemic,” said 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.”
OREA was to have petitioned a shift to mostly online transactions once the coronavirus pandemic took hold in late March.
“Now that the Ontario government has announced stage one of its plan to re-open the economy and with many consumers looking to get back into the market, it is important that realtors continue to help their clients feel safe and secure and keep the virus at bay,” OREA said in a statement this week.
The association is mandating its agents to “continue [using] virtual tools, conduct virtual open houses and virtual showings to the greatest extent possible,” despite the restarting of the economy. This includes maximizing the use of phone, email, and video communications with clients, as well as processing all documents via electronic channels.
Agents should also “thoroughly disinfect surfaces, leave doors open and keep lights on at all times during in-person showings,” OREA said. “When interacting with clients, maintain physical distancing and use personal protective equipment when distancing is not possible.”