TORONTO: OREA President Sean Morrison has issued the following statement: “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic I have been incredibly proud of the leadership shown by Ontario REALTORS® and Real Estate Boards across the province in protecting the health and safety of our communities and clients.
With cases in Ontario rising, we must continue to limit face-to-face interactions as much as possible and use virtual tools first and to the greatest extent possible.
“Today, I am calling on Ontario REALTORS® to once again stop hosting open houses. “Back in April, OREA called on the Province to stop open houses during the first wave of the pandemic. I am proud that our Association was the first to recommend a stop to all in-person business, including open houses – advice that the Province later put into law as part of the State of Emergency.
As we enter this second wave, we are once again asking the Government to ban open houses Province-wide until the pandemic becomes more manageable.
“As trusted advisors, REALTORS® should be using virtual tools first and advising clients to use virtual open houses, virtual showings, or in-person safe showings to show and view properties. For more information on how to safely conduct in-person showings during the pandemic, REALTORS® should consult OREA’s Guidance on Real Estate Transactions in Stage Two of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening the Province.”
All REALTORS® are being encouraged to have an open and frank conversation with their clients about the expectations and realities of conducting real estate business during the COVID-19 pandemic, including what can be realistically executed and what is currently prohibited.
OREA will continue to call upon our Members to conduct services remotely and to utilize technological alternatives such as virtual showings and electronic signing of documents first and to the greatest extent possible.
In conversation with clients or other REALTORS®, even in an office setting, it is strongly recommended that digital tools are used first and foremost and to the greatest extent possible.