Updates From The Real Estate Council Ontario (RECO)
We are going to go over the restrictions the Real Estate Council Ontario (RECO) have put in replace to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and to protect the health and safety of their real estate professionals and customers. The Real Estate Council of Ontario enforces rules and policies that real estate agents, brokers, and brokerages must follow. They are also committed to providing the public with the most up to date information about the marketplace and providing a safe and fair marketplace for the people.
Their office has been closed
All of their offices have been closed to the public until further notice. However, you can still call or email them for more information or to answer any of your questions.
Not authorized to extend real estate closing dates
The RECO does not have the authority to extend real estate closing dates without penalty. The agreement of purchase and sale would need to be revised to change the closing date. This agreement needs to be in writing signed by both parties.
Trading is still permitted
Real estate agents are still allowed to buy and sell real estate properties. They just have to follow the COVID-19 health and safety protocols from the government of Canada and Ontario as well as the recommendations from the RECO and other associations.
No In-Person Open Houses or Viewings Permitted
The government of Ontario has mandated the cease of in-person open houses and viewings, and the RECO has passed along these guidelines to their agents. They have recommended using 360-degree virtual showings and digital floor plans. All of which can be done with technology and minimize the spread of the Coronavirus. As well, they suggest sending electronic documents for buyers or sellers to sign real estate agreements, instead of paper documents. Also, the use of electronic money transfer is being used instead of cash or certified cheques.
OREA Real Estate College and Humber Institute of Training and Academic Learnings
- All in-person classes have been canceled, along with exams
- All articling courses have been paused until restrictions lift
The cancellation of courses has affected students who need to pass classes before they can renew their license or apply for registration. What they are doing is allowing students to submit renewal applications temporarily before their registration expiration date. All applications will be labeled “pending,” and they will be allowed to continue buying and selling real estate for the time being.
Agents can request payment referrals
Agents may choose to defer their renewal registration fee if their renewal date is before October 31, 2020. They can defer payment for up to 90 days past their date of expiry.
RECO will continue social distancing & health and safety protocols until required
As you can see, the RECO has been following government mandates closely and has implemented safe practices to protect the health and safety of real estate professionals, brokers, and brokerages. They will continue to keep social distancing measures in effect until they hear otherwise from the government of Ontario or the government of Ontario. As you read above, agents can still buy and sell properties; they just need to do so with social distancing and safety measures in effect.