This week, the Government of Ontario declared a state of emergency and has issued a stay-at-home order for all Ontario regions.
If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, you may be wondering, what this means for real estate.
What does this mean for real estate?
Real estate has been deemed an essential service and not required to close. This is good news if you are in the market to buy or sell a home. We know that during the last emergency stay at home orders, real estate sales remained strong and we expect the next 4 weeks to continue with strength in sales as interest rates remain low.
Although real estate transactions can continue, all public health measures and safety guidelines must be followed, the same that’s required with any other business remaining open. For real estate, that means public open houses are not permitted, which has remained in place for the past 12 months, and has not affected people’s ability to buy or sell homes as proven by the increase in transactions year over year. Most tasks can be accomplished virtually which includes open houses, home tours and even one on one showings with your agent when requested. Not only is it our duty, but it is our desire to follow all health and safety requirements keeping ourselves and our clients safe. Masks, physical distancing, and hand washing requirements must be adhered to, in order to flatten the curve. In addition to these measures, maximum occupancy in a home is limited, appointments are staggered, and stringent cleaning and sanitizing processes must be followed.
Our listings continue to be beautifully staged and presented to the market, as our staging crew is still fully functioning.
Home inspectors, photographers, sign installers and other businesses that support real estate also remain open so that the industry can function effectively.
A few things to keep in mind during this stay-at-home order if you are thinking of buying or selling:
- Open houses remain prohibited across the province
- Documents can be signed digitally with ease
- In-person showings are permitted, provided health and safety protocols are followed
- Short-term rentals (less than 28 consecutive days) are only to be provided to individuals who are in need of housing
- The province has put a moratorium on residential evictions for the next 28 days
Although it is not in any way business as usual, we use digital tools to the greatest extent possible to conduct virtual open houses, showings and execute real estate transactions. We are here to support and serve our clients. If you have any questions about how this stay-at-home order or state of emergency could affect you and your real estate purchase or sale give us a call. We are very happy to chat with you anytime.