TORONTO — The novel coronavirus outbreak is pushing some realtors to turn away all but the most desperate clients as they try to do their part to help maintain social distancing and stem the pandemic.
Darren Slavens, a broker and vice-president at Toronto-based Slavens and Associates, says it’s "just wrong" for people to list or shop for homes if they don’t need to, since everyone should be doing what they can to isolate themselves.
But he says that since the property market in the Greater Toronto Area was in such a frenzy before the outbreak, the recommendation to stay home hasn’t discouraged market activity as much as it should.
Said Warde, a realtor with Royal LePage, says he’s only taking out people who are in a situation where they absolutely need to buy and says he would try and talk potential buyers who are only looking for a bargain out of shopping for a home right now.
Real estate boards have in the past week issued increasingly stringent guidelines to avoid open houses and in-person meetings, and some are also calling for all non-essential activity to end.
Ontario Real Estate Association president Sean Morrison said the designation of realtors in the province as an essential service is there to help those in need, but that it’s "not business as usual."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2020.
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