Real Estate Talk:
Business in the new normal /2

Rigorous procedure protocol in the time of COVID-19

By Joseph Marovitch

This past week I had my first experience showing property in the new normal of real estate. Currently, real estate brokers are only permitted to show property if it is a primary residence and the possession date is on or before July 31, 2020. If the prospective property is a 2nd home and for leisure, it is not a necessity and therefore not permitted to show.

We are entering new territory with safety protocols, virtual tours, Authentisign, meetings on-line and social distancing.

I was showing a country home to a couple who decided to move out of the crowded city. The procedure protocol is rigorous. All parties, the buyer and seller must sign forms that state the purpose of the visit is for a primary residence and that any promise to purchase shall have a possession date on or before July 31, 2020. The second form is an attestation that asks two questions.

  1. Have you been in contact with anyone who may have COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  2. Are you showing any symptoms?

The form also states that if you do not follow the prescribed protocol as directed by the broker or if you state “yes” to the last two questions, the visit is terminated.

The protocol is as follows:

  1. Visitors wear a mask and gloves
  2. Visitors disinfect their hands before entering
  3. The owner must vacate the residence before the visitors enter
  4. Only one visitor at a time may enter the residence with the broker
  5. Visitors may touch nothing

When I explained the procedure to the buyer before the visit, they told me, “If this is too complicated, we can visit at a later date”, to which I replied, “This procedure will be in place for the foreseeable future.” At this point, all parties agreed to proceed.

We are entering new territory with safety protocols, virtual tours, Authentisign, meetings on-line and social distancing. This is how it is and it is a new world. We will continue to adjust as we move forward.

Should you have questions or comments, please refer to the comments section at the bottom of the page. As well, to view past articles, click here.

Next article: The rental frenzy after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

State of the market

It is difficult to say where the market is heading for the moment. Only in the last few days have real estate brokers been permitted to operate under strict criteria and certain conditions. Only real estate transactions that are necessary are permitted. For buyers who must relocate on or before July 31 and take possession, visits can be arranged and signing take place. For all other transactions that may take place after August 1, we must wait. Brokers can take new listings but must wait for further instructions before visits, inspections and signings can proceed after August 1.

If you intend to sell or purchase property, be sure you have a competent broker. After all, it is a matter of life and death now.

On April 28, the provincial government provided guidelines for reopening the economy. These instructions allow daycares and elementary schools to reopen. The Premier states that children are at least risk and therefore can go back to school. However, children are difficult to insure social distancing with. While they may be less at risk, if they are infected and showing no symptoms, they can still infect teachers, principals, parents, grandparents and everyone else in society. It appears that by allowing children to go back to school, we are risking an increase in infections, deaths and a second wave of COVID-19.

With uncertainty as to where we are going, the market will move slowly with buyers and sellers who are at risk of infection when they visit. To sell now, sellers may have to provide incentive and be willing to accept a lower price. On the bright side, people must live somewhere and this would be a good time to invest in income property. Chances are high that rentals will increase.

If you intend to sell or purchase property, be sure you have a competent broker. After all, it is a matter of life and death now.

Please remain safe and take all precautions for yourself and all those around you. With adjustments, we will get through this and find peace of mind.

Let’s not forget that people with cancer are vulnerable too!

You are invited to keep giving to the following organizations since it’s now more important than ever to support cancer research! Click on the logos below to find out how:

logo Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada -

Cancer Research Society

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Other articles by Joseph Marovitch

Joseph Marovitch -

Joseph Marovitch has worked in the service industry for over 30 years. His first career was working with families from Westmount and surrounding areas, hosting children between the ages of 6 to 16 as the owner and director of Camp Maromac, a sports and arts sleep away summer camp established in 1968. Using the same strengths caring for the families, such as reliability, integrity, honesty and a deep sense of protecting the interests of those he is responsible for, Joseph applies this to his present real estate broker career. Should you have questions please feel free to contact Joseph Marovitch at 514 825-8771, or

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