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OREA Urges Open Houses as a LAST RESORT

Ontario is experiencing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, and REALTORS® must do their part to minimize the spread of the virus. That means, among other things, conducting an open house should be a last resort when working with your clients.

Conduct business using virtual tools ​​​​Earlier in the pandemic, OREA advocated for a ban on open houses. We knew that the risk to public health of continuing with open houses was too great.

When the Province moved to Stage Three of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening the Province they permitted home buyers and sellers to host and attend open houses. While open houses are allowed, they should be used as a last resort. Instead, OREA urges Members to work with their clients to use virtual tools, such as virtual open houses, virtual showings, and electronic signing of documents, and scheduled safe showings first. These tools have been successful in limiting in-person contact and saving buyers and sellers time. Open houses should only be employed at a seller’s request and with the seller’s approval and in accordance with all applicable health directives. Reminder: OREA safe open house practices If an open house is insisted upon by the client, OREA is recommending a series of measures in conjunction with all relevant advice and recommendations from public health officials. To read OREA’s Stage Three Guidance for real estate transactions, including open houses, click here. Each of us has a role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19, and REALTORS® are trusted professionals in the communities where they work.

We must continue to put Ontarians’ health and safety before business by taking a virtual tools and safe showings first approach.


Sean Morrison OREA President

The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Disclaimer. The information contained in this email is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice by REALTORS®, or others. Members wishing further clarity or advice should seek independent legal advice specific to their circumstances. Due to the quickly changing regulatory environment during the COVID-19 emergency, this information may not be current or accurate by the time it is read.

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