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Porter Ramsay Blog

Real estate: Open houses stopped in light of health situation

No industry is sheltered from a worldwide pandemic. The real estate industry in British Columbia has made the decision to stop all open houses given what is happening with a pandemic that is highly contagious. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is heeding the recommendations it has been given by local real estate boards across the province.

BCREA CEO said the move is one more measure to try to stop the spread of the virus. The provincial real estate regulator and the provincial government are the only bodies with the authority to formally mandate the halting of open houses. BCREA is urging realtors to use online tools to market their listings and to encourage their clients to use those tools as well.

BCREA is heading up a steering group to come up with further suggestions for realtor members to protect themselves and consumers. The governing body is also working with government to put into place some type of relief funding for industry members as the market continues to slow down amid the pandemic. Industries which rely on face-to-face meetings with clients are those most impacted by the current health situation in the province and around the globe.

British Columbia lawyers are acutely aware of the issues that affect the buying and selling of real estate. A lawyer is available to answer questions on how contracts might be affected by these issues and may be able to advise a client accordingly. Even in uncertainty, people continue to buy and sell property and a lawyer is needed to close these deals — doing everything from title searches to handing over the keys to a property upon closing.