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Coronavirus: Ontario Real Estate Association calls for end to open houses during pandemic

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The Ontario Real Estate Association is calling for the end to open houses while the province and world deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

The call is for real estate agents to immediately end all open houses, especially while the province is in a state of emergency, which the Ford government declared earlier in the week.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: What will happen to Canada’s housing market amid the pandemic?

“I am calling on all Realtors to cease holding open houses during this crisis and advise their clients to cancel any that are planned,” said OREA President Sean Morrison in a release Saturday.

“If a client has an urgent need to sell or buy a home during the COVID-19 crisis, there are other real estate tools that Realtors can use for showing a property, including virtual tours.”

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Morrison said he knows that clients will persist in requesting open houses but urged agents to avoid open houses, which could see large groups of people attend.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Police lay out consequences if Ontario emergency orders aren’t followed

“Every Realtor has access to modern tools such as virtual showings, video conference calls and digital signing. Now is the time to use them or, if you can, wait until the State of Emergency is lifted.”

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Ontario currently has 368 active cases of coronavirus across the province. Six cases have been resolved and three deaths have occurred, a 77-year-old man from Barrie, another man in his 70s from Barrie and a 51-year-old man from the Halton Region.