COVID-19 and Real Estate: An Update
| May 05, 2021
The Government of Alberta has introduced new public health restrictions for high case regions of the Province, effective today. Please take a moment to review the restrictions and make sure you follow them while working and at home.
The new restrictions do not change the existing public health requirements for licensees when dealing with clients or the public. All licensees must continue to abide by the strict requirements for public safety they have been practicing for more than a year now, and must continue to follow the instructions of buyers and sellers regarding access to property.
Increase in Complaints
RECA has seen a sharp increase in complaints relating to buyers and buyer’s representatives not following the seller’s requirements for viewing the property during the COVID-19 pandemic. Buyers and their representatives must follow the requirements they agreed to prior to entering a property, including what PPE they must wear, where they can go, what they can touch, and how many people can attend. This is a matter of public safety, and should be taken extremely seriously by all parties.
Licensees and COVID precautions
When COVID-19 was identified in Alberta in the spring of 2020, real estate and related services were named essential business by the Government of Alberta. This meant that licensees were able to continue trading and leasing real estate as well as deal in mortgages throughout all stages of Alberta’s COVID-19 response. However, it also meant that licensees would need to take extra precautions to keep themselves and others safe.
In order to assist licensees with taking on these new responsibilities, RECA gathered information and created a COVID-19 portal for licensees. Included with this information are a number of checklists. Licensees are encouraged to use the COVID-19 property access checklists with their clients and agree to the conditions for how you will interact and how buyers will access their property, in writing.
The sellers’ representative is primarily responsible for ensuring buyer representatives are aware of the sellers’ instructions around viewings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Licensees who are representing home sellers must be sure to convey their clients’ instructions, in writing, to the potential buyers’ representatives and get written confirmation that the potential buyers understand those instructions prior to scheduling any viewings.
That said, the buyers’ representative must exercise reasonable care and skill when a property is under their care and control. Licensees who are representing the buyers must ensure they obey the instructions of the seller when showing a property. It is of utmost importance to ensure licensees are not putting their clients’ health at risk or risk the health of any parties involved in the transaction.
Property owners must have confidence their instructions will be followed. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which presents additional risk when individuals enter a property.
Licensees can access checklists and other information on staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic on reca.ca.
Protecting everyone while working with clients