Realtors Deemed Essential Service - yes we're open. Sort of.
Realtors have been deemed an essential service in Ontario, as have the Land Registry Office, Banks, Lawyers, Home Inspectors, and Accountants. Each professional plays a vital role in the Real Estate transaction process. There are countless situations where people are in-between buying and selling. Housing and shelter are a need, a human right according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Things are definitely different now. Open houses, buyer viewings, face-to-face meetings, and offer presentations have all been discontinued. Our physical offices are closed, but a great deal of work is still being done from behind locked doors and within home offices. More than ever, we now rely on technology to help us navigate to our new version of 'business as usual'.
Yes, we are still taking on new listings. If you've been thinking of selling it might be better to wait, but if you can't, yes, by all means, we can list and market your house. Now is also a great time to get your house ready. Clean out closets, touch up paint, de-clutter, clean the garage, get that curb appeal going with strategic gardening and landscaping.
It is more critical than ever for Agents to present your listing with as much detail as possible both visually and in written form. Media systems such as videography and Matterport 3D dollhouse imaging can greatly help a buyer get a feel for the home in question.
A while back, we asked our friend David Pylyp to use his Matterport camera technology at our rural listing in Uxbridge with great success. The system allows people at home to virtually walk through a house. It's a brilliant application for today's reality! Check out the video below.
Sellers, you will be relieved to know that Buyers Agents, for the most part, no longer shuttle clients from house to house. They are encouraged to guide their buyers through homes via FaceTime or virtual tours or even Zoom. Sellers are asked to please leave all lights turned on, and kitchen cabinets and closet doors ajar so as to further minimize contact.
If buyers like what they see remotely, they can try to book a live viewing if the Seller approves, or make an offer conditional upon viewing it in person. It depends on the comfort levels of the Seller and Buyer and Agents.
Agreements and Offers are to be signed electronically. It is a safe, legal, time-stamped form of remote signing, and it's easy. Very easy.
The Ontario Real Estate Association has devised a number of new clauses to be inserted into offers in the event the closing date must shift due to Covid-19 in case banks and lawyers can't coordinate the transfer of funds within timelines.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us. We will figure this out together, to make life easier during challenging times.