In April the Ontario Government released a document outlining the phases involved in their response to COVID-19 including when to ease public health guidelines and a 3 stage framework for how to re-open the province as part of their Phase 2.
How we're adapting our business to COVID-19
The last several weeks have seen major changes across many industries and ours, the real estate business is no different.
While many businesses have sadly but understandably had to face closures real estate remains an essential service.
So why is that?
The best reason is that people still need a place to live in. Many people already sold their current home before the effects of COVID-19 were being felt and still need to buy a home. Some have purchased a home before selling and still need to sell their home or face the challenge of carrying multiple mortgages. Others are just in a difficult circumstance and must sell for whatever reason.
Land Registry offices, lawyers and lenders need to be open to close transactions that had already taken place prior to the outbreak. These are all reasons for real estate continuing despite physical distancing and social isolation.
So how are transactions happening today?
Transactions can still happen because fortunately, the real estate industry has built a digital infrastructure to create and sign contracts virtually, show homes online and wire deposits and all the necessary work that needs to happen.
To support this clauses and forms have been drafted to confirm everything from showing protocol to health disclosures of parties to a transaction. Clauses have been developed to protect both buyers and sellers in the event of further shutdowns of services essential to real estate.
The biggest challenge is allowing buyers to see a seller's property without open houses which have officially been banned by the government and showings happening virtually and only in person as an absolute last resort with the utmost care for the safety of clients and the professionals involved.
Realtors like us have been using virtual tours, professional photography and video to promote properties for a long time. Today we're just upping the ante with added services like buyer directed virtual showings where the buyer directs the seller to show them their property over video conference so the buyer has control and can get a tour without entering the home.
We're using tools like Facebook, Instagram, Live Streaming, Zoom and FaceTime to bring buyers and sellers together while protecting them in transactions.
To see our brokerage's policy visit Sutton Group-Heritage Realty Inc. (Independently owned & operated)'s COVID-19 page online here.
If you have any questions. Give us a call. We're happy to help. 905-409-9967