Real estate brokers, Realtors, sales reps and other industry stakeholders are understandably concerned about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Below is a compiled list of statements and resources from across the Canadian real estate industry regarding the ongoing global pandemic.
REM will continue to update this page as more information becomes available. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the latest updates.
Boards & Associations
- The Canadian Real Estate Association’s advice on dealing with COVID-19.
- An FAQ from the National Association of Realtors.
- From the British Columbia Real Estate Association: Dealing with contracts and disclosure requirements and What does the COVID-19 virus mean for Realtors?
- A message from Sean Morrison, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association.
- Updates for Alberta Realtors from the Alberta Real Estate Association.
- A plan to address COVID-19 from the Saskatchewan Realtor’s Association.
- The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s best practices page.
- Advice for real estate professionals from the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.
- COVID-19 and real estate by the Real Estate Council of Alberta.
- A statement from Re/Max for consumers.
- Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper’s note to colleagues.
- How Sotheby’s International Realty Canada is helping clients, by president and CEO Don Kottick.
Real estate lawyer Mark Weisleder offers some clauses to consider inserting into Schedule A for Ontario Realtors:
We suggest the following clauses (of course each transaction is unique and if you have specific questions please contact us directly).
INSERT THE FOLLOWING CLAUSES INTO SCHEDULE A
The Buyer shall pay the balance of the purchase price, subject to the usual adjustments by wire transfer.
The parties acknowledge and agree that all closing documentation can be signed electronically and forwarded by email or fax in accordance with the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000, S.O.2000,c.17
The parties agree that the keys to the property shall be left in a lock box at the property and the code to the same is to be provided to the Buyer’s lawyer in escrow pending closing of this transaction.
The parties herein acknowledge and agree that they are required to close this transaction notwithstanding any impacts of COVID-19, save and except the closing of the Land Registry Office(s) and all financial institutions. In the event the closing cannot occur due to a shutdown/disruption of the Land Registry System and/or banking system, then the closing date shall be automatically extended to the fifth (5th) business day following the date upon which said systems have returned to operational status and can clear funds accordingly.
March 20 updates:
- BCREA Supports End to Open Houses During COVID-19 Crisis
- OREA Calls for End to Real Estate Open Houses During Ontario State of Emergency
- An Update from Zoocasa’s CEO
March 23 updates:
Coronavirus And Condominiums: Lawyers David Thiel , Carol A. Dirks, Gareth F.G. Stackhouse and Rachel Fielding of Fogler, Rubinoff LLP in Toronto discuss various legal obligations for condominiums to consider.
REALPAC is providing detailed daily updates for the commercial real estate industry on its online portal.
March 24 updates:
Century 21 Canada is streaming a live webinar on its Facebook page every weekday at 1 p.m. ET to help agents cope with the current situation – and agents from all companies are invited to watch. Today (March 24), Richard Robbins will present Staying Positive and Productive During COVID-19. Other presenters will include Tracey Anderson, Alicia Berruti, Shannon Smith, Kathleen Black and David Greenspan.
The Ontario government announced that real estate agents, movers, banks, real estate lawyers and insurers have been deemed to be essential services and may continue to operate during the crisis. The full list of Essential Workplaces is here.
OREA urges Realtors to cease all face-to-face business:
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging Ontario’s Realtors to stop all face-to-face business, including open houses, agent and public office hours, and in-person showings, particularity of tenant-occupied homes, during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
“Just yesterday, the Ontario government declared real estate an essential service, in order to permit transactions to close. I want to make it clear that this does not mean business as usual for Ontario’s Realtors. It’s time to stop all face-to-face business including open houses, maintaining agent and public office hours and in-person showings, especially in cases where a property is tenant-occupied,” says Sean Morrison, OREA president. “As Realtors and community leaders, we must do our part to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Why put your health on the line – or the health of your client or community – for showings that can simply be postponed for a few weeks? It’s not worth the risk.”
OREA is calling on its Realtors to work with the landlord and tenant to ensure the health and well-being of the province’s home buyers, sellers, and families remains a focus by encouraging the use of modern technology that facilitates remote interactions, such as virtual tours, video conference calls, and digital signing.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board issued a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guidance to its 56,000 members on the provincial shutdown, as it relates to trading in real estate. The key message is to avoid in-person business, such as open houses and showings with clients, during the provincial state of emergency. This will include home sellers, buyers, tenants and business clients.