What the Latest COVID Restrictions Mean for Real Estate

Ontario is once again facing new restrictions as a result of an increasing number of new COVID infections.

The restrictions will remain in place until at least January 26th, 2022.

Real estate continues to be listed as an “essential service” by the Province. That means that real estate businesses can continue to operate real estate transactions can continue to close.

That doesn’t mean it’s business as usual.

Erie’s Edge REALTORS® will only conduct essential business and avoid face-to-face interactions with customers and clients unless it is absolutely necessary.  Open houses are not permitted under these restrictions.

We will continue to work remotely and use technology like virtual showings, electronic signatures and virtual meetings to the greatest extent possible.

When an in-person showing is necessary, we will first conduct as much business as possible virtually before conducting an in-person showing.  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 (PPE), such as face coverings, and cleaning and disinfection before and after the showing.

Practically, to reduce risk of transmission of the virus, the following should be practiced in conjunction with all relevant and applicable advice, recommendations and instructions from public health officials:

Clean and Disinfect

It is standard practice for a selling homeowner to present a clean house. Today, it is even more important that the home is cleaned and disinfected before each showing. Ensure door handles, light switches, counters, cabinet knobs and other high-touch surfaces are targeted. Once a showing is complete, the home should be cleaned and disinfected again.

Wear PPE

Our REALTORs will follow provincial guidance and wear face coverings.  We will also practice physical distancing whenever possible. We ask our clients to also wear face coverings and attempt to physically distance.

Replace the Handshake

Limited physical contact is vitally important to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  While it seems

Inside The Home

To minimize health risks, it is best if homeowners are not present during the showing.

Our REALTORs will ask clients to limit the amount of time they spend in the home. Conversations with buying agents and prospective buyers should take place outside, and in between back-to-back showings so that high-touch surfaces may be disinfected.

Please do not sit on the furniture inside the home or use the bathroom.

Turn on Lights & Open Doors

We will ask sellers to open all of the interior doors. Door knobs and light switches are two of the most commonly touched surfaces in a home. It is request that  home sellers ensure all lights are on and doors (including closet doors) open so that any viewings can be completed without having to touch these surfaces.

Improve Ventilation

We recommend that home sellers consider options to improve ventilation in a home, like opening windows, when completing showings.

Digital Documents

In an effort to reduce the number of physical documents passed from one party to another all of our marketing materials about the home will be produced digitally. Contracts and forms supporting the sale of the property can be signed electronically which is not only safe but it’s easy, convenient and fun.  Where there is no choice but to use paper documents, we will take every precaution available to. us.

Space out Showings

Each showing should be scheduled with enough time in between to facilitate a thorough disinfecting of the home and minimize inter-personal contact.

Limit the Number at the Showing

Viewings should be limited to the parties to the contract only. We strongly discourage extended family or children in the showing.

Meeting at the Property

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we all make arrangements to meet buyers at the property.

Clean & Sanitize

Before and after entering a home, it is strongly recommended that you wash your hands with warm water and soap and/or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Our number one priority is the health of safety of our clients, our REALTORS and our communities.  If you have any questions, please contact our Broker of Record Ray Ferris.

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