Covid 19 - What We're Doing
I hope that Real Estate isn't the biggest thing on your mind right now. I hope that your most pressing thoughts are of your health, and your loved ones, and that you're thinking of how to keep safe and healthy under the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Real Estate isn't the most important thing on my mind right now either. I'm in isolation at home with my wife Gillian and our two young sons, Jack and Aaron. I'm thinking about extended family back in Alberta, especially my elderly grandfather, and of my in-laws here in Ottawa and Brockville, many of whom are elderly and living on their own.
Real Estate is still in my thoughts and I'm working from home each day, but my work is principally focused on my clients and making sure that they have everything that they need in this crisis, and not on whether they want to buy or sell a home. For almost everyone, buying or selling a home can wait. I'll still be there for past and future clients when life begins to return to (somewhat) normal.
However, if buying, selling or renting is on your mind, here are some critical things to know:
Yesterday, all non-essential businesses here in Ottawa and around Ontario were told to close for at least the next 14 days. Real Estate was designated as an essential service, along with lawyers and other organizations that help facilitate the sale of a home.
Why was “real estate” deemed essential?
The Ontario Real Estate Association asked for the essential service designation and for the Land Registry Office to stay open because there are thousands of transactions in Ontario right now that have yet to close officially. Every one of them is different.
While some may not require the help of a REALTOR® to close, others will. OREA was concerned that if Realtors were not permitted to support these transactions, those families and businesses could have been left high and dry.
Many other professional services appear in the essential list, including banking, lawyers, and accountants. Shutting down these sectors completely, like real estate, could have had huge unintended consequences for consumers and a damaging domino impact on other deals.
What does this mean for me if I'm buying, selling or renting?
This isn’t business as usual in the Real Estate community. It’s something that we’re taking very seriously, and we know that you are too.
Ontario Realtors have been told to stop all face-to-face business, including open houses, in-person showings and maintaining agents and public office hours. Our brokerage has been closed to the public and all usual on-site staff are working from home.
My team and I are still here for you for advice and guidance, but in-person meetings and showings are suspended for the time being. This is for your health and safety as well as ours. For critical showings, we can arrange virtual showings. For the time being, we ask that if you don’t absolutely need to buy or sell, please ride this out and stay put in the safety of your home.
Thanks for working together with me to safeguard our health, and that of our loved ones and our community.
I’ll look forward to speaking to you again soon, and wish you good health in the meantime,
What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®? Visit www.crea.ca/why to find out.