Real Estate Talk: Business
in the new normal /3
Real estate brokerage is now allowed to proceed full steam but rules apply
By Joseph Marovitch
There is still no vaccine for COVID-19 and the new normal is slowly becoming the “just normal”. The markets are open, stores are accessible, haircuts are permitted, and pools are being open to the public. Real estate brokerage is now allowed to proceed full steam with visits, open houses and in-person meetings. However, the six-foot rule still applies. Masks are required in crowded spaces and recommended in public places.
Open houses have rules as well. If there are more than three visitors, visitors are required to line up at the door, six feet apart and only enter one at a time, with masks. The residents must be out of the house. Visitors should not touch anything. The broker can allow another visitor to enter the house after the previous visitor departs. It may be better to make an appointment for the open house.
Individual arranged visits during times other than open houses still require a COVID-19 declaration signed by each visitor indicating the visitor has no symptoms and has not been in contact with anyone who has symptoms.
Authentisign is the preferred method to sign offers, counter offers and other documents. Meetings in small groups in large well-ventilated spaces are permitted however, if there are many people, online meetings with Skype or Zoom are preferred.
Individual arranged visits during times other than open houses still require a COVID-19 declaration signed by each visitor indicating the visitor has no symptoms and has not been in contact with anyone who has symptoms. The form holds the broker and visitor responsible if anyone at the visit should become infected. The COVID-19 declaration is required to be used by brokers operating from Montreal. I have heard the declaration is not required by real estate brokers outside the city.
There are pros and cons to all these precautions:
- First and foremost, the rules reduce the risk of infection being passed around.
- Buyers are more serious when they must go through the procedures to visit a property
- The process to buy and sell is paced and more thorough, with fewer mistakes.
- Buyers and sellers come to agreements quicker. The process is tedious if it goes too long.
- Less wasted time and environmentally more friendly with less driving.
- Visits are fewer but the buyers are more qualified.
- Open houses must be longer to have as many visits as possible.
- More paperwork.
One cannot help but notice that with restrictions being reduced, the public may be getting a false sense of security. It is noticeable that fewer people are wearing masks and more people are congregating. This week the government is planning to open bars and theatres. If people start to think all is normal while there is no vaccine, there is the possibility of a second wave worse than the first. We must maintain the rules to curb COVID-19:
- Wear masks.
- Keep a safe distance from one another.
- Stay home if you feel sick.
- Wash your hands often.
We are not just protecting ourselves; we are protecting those around us, and especially the aged, and those with vulnerable autoimmune systems.
‘If people start to think all is normal while there is no vaccine, there is the possibility of a second wave worse than the first. We must maintain the rules to curb COVID-19.’
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 increased demand for primary homes outside the city and why
State of the market
Since the government permitted real estate brokers to resume service last week, brokers have been busy. Buyers are buying and renters are renting. People have held off till now, but the gates have opened and people are in a rush. Granted many buyers are trying to get a good deal, however, inventory is limited, and time is money. There are many new procedures in place that make visiting and buying time-consuming, therefore buyers are giving quick answers and sellers are realizing there is little time to play and negotiate.
The most recent trend is a market for property outside the city to both buy and rent. The residential summer camps may not be operating and even if they are, parents do not want to take the chance their children be infected by COVID-19. At the same time, the world has become a little less friendly, so people are not flying anywhere. Thus, we have a demand for country homes. Buying a country home is not a problem since there are plenty available and prices are not as high as they used to be. Renting is another matter.
‘There are many new procedures in place that make visiting and buying time-consuming, therefore buyers are giving quick answers and sellers are realizing there is little time to play and negotiate.’
Many municipalities do not allow short term rentals in their bylaws. In many municipalities, including but not limited to, Estérel, St. Adèle and St. Sauveur, the minimum term for a rental is four months. However, demand for country homes is rising, therefore, buyers may want to buy a property at a good price and sell later at a premium.
Stay safe and have a peaceful weekend!
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org