Gradual return of real estate activities – Quebec real estate brokerage activities were deemed non essential along with many other businesses on March 23, 2020. Since then, open house visits and all home showings have ceased to exist. Real estate brokers are taking the current public health orders seriously, agency offices are closed and brokers continue their professional practice from home. The pause in real estate activities caused quite a few headaches with buyers and sellers who were in the midst of finalizing transactions and hoping to close on their home in the coming weeks. The OACIQ (Organisme d’autoreglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec), the association governing real estate brokers in Quebec, have been closely monitoring the situation and have drafted an official Guide for real estate brokerage activities during the COVID-19 health crisis.
On April 20, 2020 in an update to its members the OACIQ stated, “We are very pleased to announce that after considerable and sustained efforts, the government is now allowing the resumption of real estate brokerage activities related to real estate transactions whose occupancy date is scheduled for July 31, 2020 at the latest or whose moving date is on or before July 31, 2020.” All licensed real estate brokers in Quebec are required to sign an attestation form, regarding the new guidelines. Brokers who do not respect the guidelines may face disciplinary measures from the OACIQ.
Although it won’t be business as usual, priority transactions will go forward in Quebec. If you plan to occupy and move into a property before July 31st then your situation qualifies as a priority. If you are buying as an investment, you can always make an offer to purchase on a property, but this will be conditional upon visiting the property at a later date. Here is a summary of what priority transactions look like and what a real estate broker will do to ensure everyone is respecting the guidelines and keeping you safe:
General Guidelines of Quebec Real Estate opening back up:
- Real estate brokers may conduct in person visits only for priority transactions; people moving into a home before July 31st 2020.
- All sellers and buyers must fill out an attestation form to justify that their situation is a priority transaction.
- All parties involved in a property showing must fill out a health declaration form regarding any symptoms or contact with others who may have COVID19.
- Broker is not permitted to go ahead with the property showing if any party has answered yes to the health questions. The broker must also sign a declaration.
- The broker will ensure that these visits are conducted with the Guidelines set out by the OACIQ. E.g. Only 1 person can enter the home with broker, no children or people over 70 are permitted to visit etc…
- All government regulations regarding distancing need to be respected by everyone involved, including building inspectors, appraisers and land surveyors.
- The concept of Open Houses are formally not permitted at this time
If you have sold a property and urgently need to move to a new home before July 31st, please get in touch with your realtor for a full explanation of the new Professional Practice Guidelines for real estate brokerage in Quebec during COVID-19.
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