What’s happening in real estate here in Huntsville during the pandemic? What if we need to have a home inspection done? What about a stager? What about photography? Are these essential?
There is still a need to sell properties and to buy properties, and REALTORS® have been deemed an essential service by the provincial government. But it’s not business as usual. We can continue to serve clients who are closing transactions or who urgently need to sell or buy property.
But what about whether or not the essential business designation extends to include photographers, videographers, stagers, cleaners and home inspectors?
OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association) has obtained a legal opinion on whether photographers, videographers, stagers and cleaners (referred to as “Service Providers”) can provide services to REALTORS®.
Here is what they say:
“Home Inspectors have received their own legal opinion and the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors has advised that “OAHI’s corporate counsel has confirmed home inspections are still essential ‘in the context of a real estate transaction process…’” during the state of emergency.
Here’s what you need to know:
Yes, service providers such as photographers, videographers, stagers and cleaners may generally be able to do what they need to do at the seller’s home in support of a real estate transaction.
Service providers would fall within the “essential business” category of supply chain businesses that supply another essential business, namely the real estate agent services. However, at least the following steps are required:
- The REALTOR® (and not their client) contracts with and retains the service provider’s services;
- Especially in the case of videographers, cleaners and stagers, the REALTOR® has appropriately contracted with their client to provide the client with those services;
- Only people absolutely necessary attend; and
- All other emergency orders and laws are followed (e.g. no more than 5 persons on the property etc.) including local public health authority guidelines.
This is based upon Ontario’s Emergency Orders in place April 9, 2020. As the COVID-19 situation is constantly changing, please note that the rules can change at any time.
OREA said, “Most importantly, because the condition and characteristics of the property, the market and the specific contracts a REALTOR® may have with both the service provider and their client are unique and the behaviour of both the service provider and REALTOR® are also contributing factors, this document can only act as a ‘general guide.’ An absolute answer requires consideration of all of these factors on a case-by-case basis.”**
The bottom line is I can still list your property for sale if you have an urgent need to sell, and yes I can still show you a property listed for sale if you must buy. However we are encouraging buyers and sellers who don’t have to sell or buy to wait a bit longer until the restrictions are relaxed. For now we are trying to do as much as possible virtually with virtual showings (video walk throughs), electronic signatures on documents, Virtual tours, and virtual open houses. In-person meetings are strongly discouraged and when they must happen there is a strict protocol in place that we must follow. For example I wear a mask and gloves and use lots of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes and of course stay at least 6 feet away from everyone (more like 10 feet).
Interestingly there is a bit of an uptick in the market. The number of showings, offers and sales is going up. I believe that the market is merely on pause and judging by the number of inquiries that I’ve been getting over the past few days it seems that demand is still very, very strong for buying property in Muskoka and specifically in Huntsville.
If you have any real estate concerns or questions or if you are wondering if your situation would qualify as ‘essential’ I’d be happy to chat. I can be reached anytime by phone/text 705-788-4176 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe and stay healthy.
Click here to learn more about a beautiful cottage for sale on Lake Waseosa.
** from the Ontario Real Estate Association
Susan has been a full time REALTOR® and real estate Broker in the Huntsville/ Lake of Bays area since 1990. Her experience and knowledge have proven invaluable to her clients. To see how other Buyers and Sellers have found working with Susan as their REALTOR® view her testimonials.
Susan brings a high degree of integrity and professionalism to her career in Real Estate. She has pride in her reputation and is dedicated to hard work, honesty and providing quality service and total client satisfaction. Susan has been a consistent Award winner at Chestnut Park for high volume sales in her profession.
Susan has also earned the professional designation of SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) and enjoys working with seniors in all price brackets for all types of property. Although Chestnut Park and Susan Brown are probably best known for selling luxury waterfront properties in the Huntsville/Lake of Bays area, Susan likes working with Buyers & Sellers in all price ranges and with all types of real estate: condos, residential homes not on water, and rustic cottages, as well as high-end luxury waterfront properties in the Huntsville/Lake of Bays area.
As an experienced REALTOR®, Susan has been interviewed by Global TV, The National Post, The Globe & Mail and CTV News regarding real estate trends in the Muskoka area. Watch Susan’s bio video here.
When not selling real estate Susan enjoys being at her cottage on Lake Waseosa, kayaking, hiking, and spending time with her polydactyl cat Hemingway. She also volunteers at Muskoka Heritage Place in Huntsville and the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.