UPDATED: COVID-19: REALTORS® and Consumers Can Travel for Real Estate Transactions
This post was updated on May 4, 2021 to include more detailed information from Service Canada regarding consumers' right to travel for real estate transactions.
BC's recent restrictions on travel don't impact REALTORS® and their clients travelling for business purposes. Real estate trading services continue to fall under the category of essential services, which means that it's still permissible for Realtors and consumers to travel if it is related to a real estate transaction, like viewing a property.
When it comes to consumers, Service BC has told BCREA that traveling outside of health regions to view properties is permitted as, like moving, it is considered essential travel. In response to a query from BCREA, Service BC wrote, "This is all inclusive under moving. . . . These people seeking a home outside their community or region can travel to see it."
With the RCMP recently granted authority to conduct road checks, Realtors should be prepared to be stopped and to answer questions. Getting stopped at a road check could feel stressful and there may be varying levels of understanding among law enforcement officers when it comes to what professions are considered essential services.
Law enforcement officers can ask for your name, address and driver's license, as well as any available documentation regarding your name and address (for example, secondary identification that confirms a driver's residential address if recently moved). They can also ask you why you're travelling. However, you are not required to provide any documentation related to the purpose of your travel.
The COVID-19 threat remains high in BC and it's important that Realtors continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols and Safer Showing Guidelines During BC's Second Wave, including:
- pre-screening buyers before booking a showing
- have already listed or sold their current home,
- are working with a Realtor,
- are prequalified or have means to finance the purchase
- ensuring no more than six people attend a showing
- including Realtors and occupants,
- wearing a mask at all times.
These are in addition to ensuring that prospective buyers have familiarized themselves with the information available on the property, photos, videos, 3D floorplans and other information and have driven past the property before requesting a showing.
For more information check out our blog post Updated Guidance for Real Estate Practice During Covid-19 and Safe Practices During BC's Second Wave: A Checklist for Managing Brokers for a refresher on what Realtors and Managing Brokers can do to help decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Also, we regularly post updates on issues important to Realtors on social media so be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
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