We should now be heading towards a peak in the Canadian housing market; instead we are in the midst of an unprecedented public health and economic crisis.
But home buying and selling continues and while we can’t know what impact COVID-19 will have on the market overall, real estate agents are making the best of a bad situation.
For those working on the front line, there is risk. But one of Canada’s largest real estate industry bodies has offered advice to help keep real estate agents safe.
Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TREBB) is advising that agents ask clients about recent travel, especially to and from areas with high-levels of the coronavirus infection. They may want to avoid face-to-face contact with those more likely to be infected.
Should open houses be cancelled?
Open houses pose a particular risk for real estate agents, their clients, and visitors.
TREBB advises that agents should have a frank conversation with clients about the pros and cons of open houses at this time. Other marketing methods should be considered including video tours.
If they do decide to proceed, then key health and safety measures should be deployed:
- Use disinfecting wipes to clean commonly-shared surfaces like door handles;
- Restrict open house attendance to one group at a time;
- Ask visitors to limit physically touching items in the home;
- Refrain from greeting others with handshakes or hugs;
- Encourage clients to thoroughly clean and disinfect the house after open houses or viewings;
- Request clients or attendees to notify their Realtor if they become ill within two weeks of an open house or showing. If an attendee does become sick or is diagnosed with COVID-19, communicate this with the homeowner and other attendees if possible; and
- Avoid sharing items such as phones, tablets or laptops.=
Social distancing – keeping at least 2 metres from others – is also advised in accordance with public health agencies’ advice. So too, is self-isolation for those that are sick.
Further information can be found by searching for the Health Canada website.