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As licensed real estate brokers in Quebec I and my colleagues are bound by the rules and regulations during the Covid 19 pandemic that have been implemented by the OACIQ and the QPARB, our two governing bodies that regulate our practice. What this means for my current buyers and sellers and those who were planning to work with me is that any and all real estate activity that involves coming into physical contact with others is now strictly prohibited. This means that buyers may not visit properties and sellers may not allow potential buyers into their home. Professional photographers and those who take videos and interactive tours of properties may not do so as well.
I'm available anytime to answer any and all questions you may have as regards the impact of Covid 19 on real estate activity as well as any questions you may have regarding purchasing or selling a property.
Be well and stay safe.
NOTWITHSTANDING THE ABOVE, BUYERS WISHING TO MOVE FORWARD WITH AN OFFER ON A PROPERTY MAY STILL DO SO
In the current context of COVID-19 several tools are available to me so I can continue assisting my clients remotely while respecting my duties and obligations under the Real Estate Brokerage Act and the government’s exceptional guidelines. Therefore, based on photos, details on the listing sheet, other information on the property that I can provide and virtual tours through Zoom or other video conferencing software, if a buyer wishes to prepare an offer on a property we can move forward with one. A clause will be included in the offer stipulating that it is conditional to physically visiting the property by a certain date (that date will vary as the governments and our governing bodies set a date upon which real estate visits can resume) and being satisfied with that visit. Building inspections are allowed as at April 20th if several conditions are met (see below). Obviously, electronic signature will be required for all documents during a transaction.
SELLERS WHO WISH TO PUT THEIR HOME ON THE MARKET MAY STILL DO SO
In the current context of COVID-19 several tools are available to me so I can continue assisting my clients remotely while respecting my
duties and obligations under the Real Estate Brokerage Act and the government’s exceptional guidelines. Special clauses to use in the brokerage
contract because of the pandemic have been provided to us by the OACIQ. Room measurements shall be provided by the seller and the
use of the wording “Approximate room measurements” shall be permitted. However, those measurements will have to be updated as soon as available. Photos taken by a seller are accepted. If a seller provides the photos, they will send an email confirming that they accept that their photos be published on Centris. Sellers can also provide virtual tours of their property to prospective buyers via Zoom or other video conferencing software. No statement concerning open houses (which are prohibited for an indefinite period) will be accepted in the detailed listing sheet.
Visits of properties and dwellings, other than virtual, cannot take place until May 4th, subject to an extension of current government measures regarding isolation. Public health authorities keep telling us that the virus continues to live on surfaces. This means that even in the absence of occupants, physical visits of properties can be a source of spreading and are not allowed at this stage of the pandemic.
Building inspectors have an obligation to comply with government guidelines in the context of the pandemic. As of April 20th, 2020, some inspection activities related to real estate transactions will be permitted including some inspections. Residential building inspections activities are allowed if they are considered priority and are carried out in accordance with the health instructions of government authorities. Pre-sale and pre-purchase inspections of a property scheduled for a possession date of no later than July 31, 2020 are authorized by the Government of Quebec.
The Ordre des évaluateurs agréés du Québec has issued a communication to appraisers asking them to use their professional judgment and follow public authority guidelines. In a pandemic situation, if an appraiser has enough information on the immovable to be appraised, he can generate a limited report without inspecting the property following the applicable professional standards of practice. The standards stipulate as follows: “An immovable property that is the subject of an appraisal must be inspected, barring exceptional circumstances, in which case the exceptional circumstances must be explained in the report.” In its directive the Ordre des évaluateurs agréés du Québec has indicated that this pandemic constitutes an exceptional circumstance.
Notaries who wish to do so may carry out notarized acts remotely, including the signing of deeds of sale, using technologies and following the directives issued by the Chambre des notaires. Notaries at their discretion may also receive buyers and sellers at their offices to notarize a transaction while at the same time respecting the recommended social distancing guidelines.
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