CREA Office Closed August 2

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) office will be closed for the Civic Holiday on Monday, August 2 and will re-open on Tuesday, August 3.

On Monday, August 2, the Member Experience Centre will be running emergency on-call support for boards and associations between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (EDT). CREA WEBForms® support will be available until midnight (EDT). 

If you have any questions, please direct them to support@crea.ca prior to Friday, July 30.

Have a safe and happy long weekend

OREA guidance on safe open houses

Real estate open houses are permitted this Friday, July 16, under Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

We know that a large portion of Ontario REALTORS® are in no hurry to start hosting open houses. Digital tools, virtual home tours, and in-person scheduled showings have proven effective over the last year, and REALTORS® should continue to rely on these tools and practices to help their clients buy and sell homes.

Open houses should be used as a last resort to market a home and only employed at a seller’s request and with the seller’s approval.

OREA’s number one priority is to protect the health and safety of our REALTORS® and their clients. With that in mind, we have crafted guidance for OREA Members on conducting safe open houses in Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

OREA’s guidance includes:
 

  • Provisions Members are required to follow under the Provincial regulations;
  • Key questions to ask yourself & clients; and
  • Practices you can utilize to operate an open house in Step 3.

Here’s what’s covered in our guidance:

  • Request self-screening of COVID-19. Post signage on the property entryway door stating that if people have been ill, have symptoms of COVID-19, have come in contact with a person with symptoms or a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should not enter the home.
  • Set a time limit. Limit the time each group spends inside the residence to ensure all guests have the opportunity to see the home during open house hours.
  • Set a limit on guests. While indoor gathering limits have increased, limit the number of people in the house to a maximum of three people (including the buyer’s sales representative if they are attending with the buyers), to allow for physical distancing.
  • Require PPE use. Ensure masks or face coverings are worn inside at all times, as physical distancing may not always be possible. Consider providing this PPE outside the entrance of the residence. Municipalities may have by-laws regarding the use of masks where business is being conducted. Be sure to review any such by-laws in your municipality.
  • Manage the flow of traffic. If a line forms outside, people should be staggered 6’ apart. Consider signage or markers to this effect. In the home, plan and direct safe traffic flow by considering an alternate exit to the entrance and posting signage informing guests of the traffic flow through the home. Have an assistant manage physical distancing outside and inside the home and for people registering. While a showing is in progress, place a sign on the door to indicate that and ask other guests to wait in a queue or their cars.
  • Sanitize hands before and after. Provide hand sanitizer at the door and require guests to disinfect before entry.
  • Ensure proper ventilation. Where possible, ensure that the property’s AC unit has been turned on, or open windows to ventilate the space.
  • Enforce ‘no touching’ rules. Open all the interior doors and closet doors and turn on lights so that any open house visits can be completed without touching these surfaces. The listing REALTOR® should be available to open cabinets, storage spaces, blinds, etc.
    • An alternative is to provide gloves as people enter the home so guests can touch without the risk of outside germs. If this alternative is used, all other steps outlined in this document still need to be taken out of heightened precaution.
  • Sanitize. Disinfect surfaces, door handles and parts of the house that guests come in close contact with both before and after the open house.
  • Protocols for multi-tenanted properties. For multi-tenanted properties like condominiums, discuss with the seller whether building management has any COVID-19 safety protocols to be aware of and incorporate those into your plan. Also, enlist the help of an assistant to manage entry to the building and other common area, and ensure physical distancing can be maintained between consumers in common areas.

To read OREA’s guidance on safe in-person showings click here.

To sum up, open houses should be used as a last resort to market a home and only employed at a seller’s request and with the seller’s approval. As we move into Step Three of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, we trust that our Members will continue to put health and safety first while doing what you have always done best – helping Ontarians achieve the dream of a place to call home.

I am so proud of the leadership REALTORS® have shown in protecting Ontario communities. On behalf of OREA’s Board of Directors – thank you, and please stay safe.

Sincerely,

David Oikle
OREA President 

Guelph Sign Bylaws are Changing

July 14, 2021 | 10 – 11 AM | Via Webinar
Hosted by Mark MacKinnon, Real Estate Broker and Guelph City Councillor

If you use any type of real estate sign within the City of Guelph, you won’t want to miss this important session since it will directly impact your business.

As of July 19th 2021, Guelph will be passing a new Sign Bylaw that will affect the size, placement, timing, and material of real estate signs throughout the city.

As real estate professionals, we play an important and valuable marketing role for our clients; it’s vital that we understand the city’s sign rules, so we can maximise property exposure while simultaneously ensure bylaw compliance.

Mark has brought his real estate industry perspective to Guelph Council decision-making for the past six years, and he is hosting a virtual meeting for GDAR’s membership in advance of the final sign bylaw vote both to provide information and to listen to REALTOR® concerns.

REGISTER NOW

Register early, spaces are limited for this informative presentation.  A $5 cancellation fee will be charged to those who register and fail to attend without providing 24 hours notice to hub@gdar.ca.

Need-to-Know FINTRAC Regime Updates – Join the Webinar

On July 14, CREA will be hosting a webinar regarding changes to the FINTRAC Regime that came into effect June 1, to assist members in complying with new regulations. 

Key changes include: A new obligation to determine whether a client is a politically exposed person or head of an international organization. A new obligation to obtain beneficial ownership information from corporate and other entity clients. A new obligation to report large virtual currency transactions. Simon Parham, CREA Legal Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer will be reviewing these major changes, in a free webinar available to all REALTORS® on July 14 at 1 p.m. (EDT), highlighting the newly available resources that should be used in reference to these new regulations. 

At this webinar, REALTORS® can also: learn about how these changes might impact their business; learn more details about the grace period announced by FINTRAC and the expectations surrounding it; and  ask clarifying questions. 



<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Cambria Math”; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:1; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1073786111 1 0 415 0;} @font-face {font-family:Verdana; panose-1:2 11 6 4 3 5 4 4 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1593833729 1073750107 16 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,sans-serif; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; color:black;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:#954F72; mso-themecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page WordSection1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 72.0pt 72.0pt 72.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} –>
Register Now
 

For more information regarding the FINTRAC Regime update see FINTRAC’s New Regulatory Requirements for the Real Estate Sector guidance.

Up-to-date materials for REALTORS® regarding compliance with the new obligations can be found on REALTOR Link® and CREA WEBForms®; these new resources have replaced draft versions previously made available by CREA on REALTOR Link®.

FINTRAC has not yet published its large virtual currency report on its website. Once FINTRAC has made this report available, CREA will include a reference link in its template office manual. Until that time, REALTORS® should reference the notice on the assessment of new regulatory obligations when seeking information on reporting large virtual currency transactions before they proceed. 

If you have any further questions you can contact Dil Puar, Director, Government Relations (dpuar@crea.ca), or Simon Parham, Legal Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer (sparham@crea.ca).

CREA Office Closed for Canada Day

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) office will be closed on Thursday, July 1 for Canada Day as well as Friday, July 2. The office will re-open on Monday, July 5. 

The Member Experience Centre will not be available on Canada Day.

On July 1, CREA WEBForms® support will be available between 8 a.m. and midnight (EDT). 

On July 2, the Member Experience Centre will be available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. CREA WEBForms® support will be available until midnight (EDT).

If you have any questions, please direct them to support@crea.ca.

Have a safe and happy long weekend.

Province Announces New Protections for Buyers and Sellers of New Homes

OREA was pleased to see the Government announce the creation of a New Home Builder Code of Ethics earlier today. The new Code of Ethics, under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017, will further strengthen protections for buyers and owners of new homes by requiring builders and vendors to operate in a professional manner with honesty, integrity, and financial responsibility.

In addition to the Code of Ethics, the Province will provide the Home Construction Regulatory Authority with a new disciple committee and appeals committee process to make it easier for homeowners and buyers to settle disputes and hold bad actors accountable.

The changes will come into effect on July 1, 2021 and will support greater transparency through the new homebuying process for all Ontarians.

To read OREA CEO Tim Hudak’s statement on the announcement, you can visit here. You can also read the Province’s new release for more information here.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at any time.

Respectfully,

Lindsay Stevens

Senior Manager, Policy & Public Affairs

LindsayS@orea.com 647-746-8614

OREA has been advocating for the Province to end the two-tier system of consumer protection to ensure that Ontario’s consumers have the same level of consumer protection when buying a home from a REALTOR® or a new home from a builder.

OREA was pleased to see the Government announce the creation of a New Home Builder Code of Ethics earlier today. The new Code of Ethics, under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017, will further strengthen protections for buyers and owners of new homes by requiring builders and vendors to operate in a professional manner with honesty, integrity, and financial responsibility.

In addition to the Code of Ethics, the Province will provide the Home Construction Regulatory Authority with a new disciple committee and appeals committee process to make it easier for homeowners and buyers to settle disputes and hold bad actors accountable.

The changes will come into effect on July 1, 2021 and will support greater transparency through the new homebuying process for all Ontarians.

To read OREA CEO Tim Hudak’s statement on the announcement, you can visit here. You can also read the Province’s new release for more information here.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at any time.

Respectfully,

Lindsay Stevens

Senior Manager, Policy & Public Affairs

LindsayS@orea.com 647-746-8614

CREA Discourages Unrealistic Listing Prices in Home Selling

Demand for housing in most Canadian markets continues to outpace supply and increasingly, disappointed buyers and REALTOR® members are voicing their frustration to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and provincial regulators about the use of advertised listing prices that bear no reasonable relationship to a selling price a seller may be prepared to accept in an attempt to generate additional offers.

Ultimately, a home’s listing price is part of a marketing strategy and is set at the direction of the home seller. That said, “We’re concerned that a small minority of sellers and their advisers may be seeking to engineer bidding wars based on advertised listing prices, in some cases as low as $1, that bear no relationship whatsoever to what a seller may be willing to accept for a property,” CREA CEO Michael Bourque announced in a statement. “These types of listings can distort the market in significant ways: by failing to give any indication of the seller’s expectations; by dissuading prospective buyers from making an offer and in discouraging good faith offers based on unrealistic advertised listing prices. These distortions can create real costs for consumers and REALTORS® involved in transactions.”

REALTORS® are a trusted source for Canadians buying and selling real estate. Choosing not to give any indication of a price that a seller may be willing to consider does not reflect creditably on the real estate profession and impacts the accuracy of our data.

“While the listing price is ultimately a decision for the seller, we encourage REALTORS® to advise their clients to advertise properties based on market conditions and realistic seller expectations,” says Bourque.

Real estate is regulated provincially, so check with your provincial government and/or regulator for further guidance.

Ontario is finally starting to reopen

After a long COVID-19 lockdown – Ontario is finally starting to reopen. This is great news for people, communities, and our Province.

Today, (June 2nd) the Government is lifting its Stay-at-Home Order and on June 14th Ontario is set to enter Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen.
 



What does that mean for real estate? Three things:
​​​​​​
General Restrictions Are Still in Place – For Now

Today, Ontario is allowing the Stay-at-Home Order to expire. As a result, most of the restrictions related to non-essential business, activities and gatherings remain in place.

REALTORS® should continue to follow all existing public health guidelines, limit in-person business as much as possible, use virtual tools and conduct scheduled showings only.

OREA’s Guidance for Safe In-Person Showings is available on OREA’s COVID-19 Information Hub.
​​​​



Residential Evictions Are Resuming

Second, when Ontario enacted the Stay-at-Home Order it paused enforcement of residential evictions. The pause applied to evictions orders for all tenancies subject to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), including those already issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)but not yet carried out.

With the end of the Stay-At-Home order, OREA has learned that the government is also ending the pause on the enforcement of resident evictions. That means that eviction orders for all tenancies subject to the RTA will resume effective today.

The LTB is carrying on most of its business using virtual video conferencing tools. Members who own investment properties or who are supporting clients, can visit the LTB website to learn more.

According to the Government, if the stay-at-home order is extended or reintroduced, be it province-wide or focused on specific regions, the suspension of residential eviction enforcement could be extended as well.
 



Inter-Provincial Travel Still Restricted

The Ontario government has announced that it has extended its ban on interprovincial travel until June 16 as part of its emergency measures. The ban, which applies to non-essential travel, affects Ontario’s land boundaries with Manitoba and Quebec.

OREA Members can cross interprovincial borders for essential business purposes. OREA has drafted template letters to support Members in navigating border checkpoints.
 



Looking Ahead

OREA has reached out to its key contacts in government and assembled the below information about what else Members can expect from the Province’s Reopening Roadmap when it comes to real estate.

The Roadmap to Reopen is a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures.
 



The plan is based on:
 

  • The province-wide vaccination rate
  • Improvements in key public health and health care indicators


Members looking for more general information should go to the Ontario Government’s website.
 


Note: This timeline and the below information is subject to change. OREA will communicate updates to Members when new information comes to light.
​​​​​​

Tell Us What You Think About Open Houses

OREA is currently advising the government on open houses and Step Three of the Reopening Plan. We will be surveying Members to collect their feedback and will be communicating it to government.

If you are already a Member of OREA’s Research Community, you will receive a link to the survey today. If you are not yet a Member of the Research Community, click the link below to complete a 3-minute introduction survey to register. Once completed, you’ll receive an email to confirm your registration.

www.joinorearesearch.com

Thank you,

David Oikle
OREA President