|COVID-19 vaccination certification system|
As part of the Ontario government’s continued efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, effective September 22, 2021, Ontarians need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide proof of vaccination along with photo identification to access certain public settings and facilities.
The government’s announcement did not specifically identify requirements that would affect real estate brokerages, showings or open houses. However, all public health measures should be followed for any services taking place in a public setting.
We recognize that individuals involved in real estate transactions will have different needs and expectations to stay safe. Real estate professionals and brokerages play an active leadership role in their communities to maintain the health and safety of everyone involved in real estate transactions. We recommend that sellers, buyers, and their real estate representatives work collaboratively to implement measures that satisfy their respective needs.
For more information about how this affects real estate professionals and brokerages, visit our COVID-19 Industry Notices page.
Reminder: Industry alert about steering based on commission
We are concerned that some real estate agents and brokerages in Ontario may be steering their buyer clients toward listings where the seller is offering buyer representatives higher commissions over those offering lower commissions and that this may be happening without the buyer’s informed instruction. Although we know the vast majority of agents are managing buyers in an honest and ethical manner, it appears some may be putting their interests ahead of their buyers’. In addition to being illegal, this conduct undermines consumer protection, consumer confidence and the reputation of the profession. For more information, including clarity for buyers and their representatives and the Code of Ethics, visit RECO Professional News.
RECO moves to fully online registration applications for salespersons and brokers
We recently moved to online-only registration applications for individual salespersons and brokers.
Brokerage registration forms will continue to be available in a fillable PDF format until further notice. The new online forms for individual salespersons and brokers are available under the “Applications” tab on MyWeb.
|New federal holiday on September 30: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation|
The federal government has proclaimed that September 30 will be a new federal statutory holiday known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This is meant to be a day of reflection and a reminder for Canadians of the tragedies experienced by Indigenous people as a result of the country’s devastating legacy of residential schools. We are all encouraged to reflect on the heartbreaking history of Canada’s residential school system and honour the survivors, their families and communities. Service alert: This holiday applies to all federally regulated public and private workplaces, including banks, which may affect closing dates set on September 30, 2021. Brokerages are urged to review all their pending transactions to see if the holiday may affect the closing of a transaction. As a provincially regulated workplace, RECO will remain open on September 30.
Reminder: Human Rights Fundamentals MCE elective – Understanding racism and racial discrimination
As the regulator of real estate professionals in one of the most diverse provinces in Canada, we support a market free of racism and discrimination.
Earlier this year, in collaboration with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, we developed RECO’s new MCE elective: Human Rights Fundamentals. We continue to encourage registrants to take the 75-minute course, which will provide learners with a foundational understanding of racial discrimination and human rights protections under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Registrants are also encouraged to alert their broker of record/brokerage if they, or someone they represent, experiences racism or discrimination of any kind.
Check out our “Ask Joe” column, a weekly question-and-answer column by RECO’s Registrar, Joe Richer, that appears in the Toronto Star. Here are some questions Joe has answered recently.
- I’m interested in buying a property that’s being sold as an estate sale. What do I need to be aware of before putting in an offer?
- I’m a tenant in a house that’s being sold. Now that many COVID-related restrictions have been lifted, how can I ensure that showings are still being done as safely as possible?
- Now that Ontario is gradually relaxing its COVID-19 restrictions, does this mean we will go back to how we used to buy or sell a home?
- I’m contemplating selling my home by myself instead of working with a real estate professional. What do I need to consider before making this decision?
- I am thinking of buying a home and I keep hearing advice that I should look for a property that “meets my needs.” What does this really mean?
- My spouse and I are both seniors. We’re preparing to sell our home but have not sold a property in quite a few years. What advice do you have to help our sale go smoothly?
- My daughter is going to a post-secondary institution out of town this year. What advice do you have to help me decide whether to buy an investment property near campus for her to live in, or simply rent?