The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is calling upon all Ontario REALTORS® to immediately stop holding open houses during the Province’s COVID-19 State of Emergency. As community leaders, Ontario Realtors need to do their part in protecting the health and safety of their clients and the general public. While open houses are a common real estate practise that help sellers achieve good value for their homes and educate potential buyers about a property, these factors are secondary to protecting the health of Ontarians and limiting the spread of COVID-19.
“I am calling on all Realtors to cease holding open houses during this crisis and advise their clients to cancel any that are planned,” said Sean Morrison, OREA President. “If a client has an urgent need to sell or buy a home during the COVID-19 crisis, there are other real estate tools that Realtors can use for showing a property including virtual tours. Let’s put our clients and communities first and focus on protecting the health and safety of all Ontarians.”
OREA has 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 open houses during the crisis.
“I understand that Realtors will continue to receive requests from clients for open houses or showings” said President Morrison. “My message to my fellow Ontario Realtors is clear: you are trusted advisors and professionals. Encourage your clients to use technology that facilitates remote interactions and especially avoids large groups that can happen during open houses. Every Realtor has access to modern tools such as virtual showings, video conference calls and digital signing. Now is the time to use them or, if you can, wait until the State of Emergency is lifted.”