14 January 2021
Melanie Wright

How does the new COVID-19 State of Emergency Announcement affect the way we practice real estate?

  • Masks must be worn at all times. The additional requirement announced on January 12th, 2021, mandates that masks must be worn outside in public spaces when social distancing is not possible.
  • Open houses are banned. Full stop. No exceptions anywhere in the Province until the lockdown is lifted.
  • Union Realty will use virtual tools first and to the greatest extent possible to conduct all business.
  • Urgently needed in-person showings are permitted but MUST be scheduled in advance. This is limited to one group of two people (plus the buyer’s sales representative) to allow for physical distancing. Also, PPE should be worn at all times, surfaces & hands should be cleaned and sanitized before and after the showing. Appointments will be spaced to manage the flow of people inside and outside the home.
  • As an essential service, real estate offices and Brokerages may remain open but employees who can work from home will do so. The Union Realty office will be closed unless it is absolutely necessary to be open. COVID-19 screening guidance for workplaces will be strictly adhered too. More information can be found here.
  • Photography and Virtual tours of homes are ongoing with strict covid protocols, including clients leaving the premises while the photographer is present
  • Home inspections are also ongoing with strict Covid protocols.
  • Staging is also ongoing. Clients CANNOT be inside the home when the designer or stagers are in their homes and this includes consultation and de-staging.
  • Designers and stagers will wait outside until clients exit the home.
  • Thorough cleaning is expected especially in high touch areas.
  • Consultations will be done by email, phone call or zoom.
  • Short-term rentals for recreational purposes are effectively closed as of January 12th, 2021. If a booking was made prior to January 12th it is permitted to go forward.
  • Renovations started before January 12th will be permitted to continue but those that have not started are not permitted to start. The government has not indicated when the new measures will be lifted.
These new restrictions indicate the seriousness of the situation we find ourselves in. We have made changes to ensure the that we conduct our business in a safe way ensuring that strict protocols are in place. Unfortunately, government projections are predicting things to get much worse.

Our brokerage has made a commitment to continue to serve our clients in the midst of the pandemic. We are dedicated to carefully following the guidance from OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association) RECO, (Real Estate Council of Ontario) and public health officials. We take our responsibility to our clients, our staff, and our community seriously. We will continue to ensure that we work safely.