Making Real Estate Safe During COVID-19
Real estate services in Ontario have been classified as an "essential service" by the provincial government. Many may think this is unnecessary but the plain fact of the matter, and the primary reason for this service classification is that people still need to move, sell or rent...or more simply put.. have a roof over their head.
Remember, most real estate transactions take about 3 months to come to completion. During this period of time home inspections need to be completed, any issues need to be remedied so that all the conditions are met and the transaction process can continue to progress to completion. Before COVID-19 took hold brokerages all across Ontario had thousands of transactions waiting to close. With all of these transaction there were a lot of people who have still not purchased or even rented another and therefore still need a place to live.
It's also important to understand, probably the most visible change directly related to real estate coming out of the COVID-10 crisis.. the dramatic and immediate reductions in the Bank of Canada's interest rate. The net effect of these rate drops is lower mortgage rates and when mortgage rates drop a lot more people want to take advantage and purchases real estate. It makes home ownership look a lot more appealing when rent payment levels converge to match mortgage payment levels and it makes rent to mortgage cash flow ratios look a lot more appealing for those looking to purchase investment properties.
Measures we have put in place to make real estate safe and yet effective for those that choose to buy or sell now.
In person open houses have been cancelled. In their place we are now providing virtual open houses using interactive videos and floor plans, allowing interested buyers to get a very realistic experience of the property.
All of our clients have been screened to understand if they have traveled out of the country or if they have come into close contact with any friends or relatives that have done the same
FORMS AND CALUSES
Our brokerage is using new forms around consent to viewings in order to avoid any possible legal issued associated with the virus being spread through a property listing. For those buying an emergency clause giving buyers the ability to purchase a property prior to actually viewing the property allowing transaction to take place virtually with viewing and confirmation of purchase taking place at a later date. We are also using new clauses from RECO that protect those involved in buying who are not able to close on a property as a result of being infected by the COVID-10 virus.
All of our client meetings have been moved to online meetings using technologies such as facetime and zoom. This allows us to still have very personal interactions with our clients so we can still get a very clear understanding of all their needs.
For those home owners that do decide to list their property with us during this time, we are bringing in professional cleaning teams to ensure that the property is thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom using industrial strength cleaning agents and virus killers.