COVID-19 Guidance for Real Estate Professionals

Women working from home

Find answers to common questions to enable you to continue to provide a high standard of service to your clients, and guidance to help you and your clients make informed decisions to protect your health and safety. We’ve put together some FAQs to help find answers to your questions about how real estate services are affected as the province moves forward with BC’s Restart Plan.

Our Professional Standards Advisors are available to answer questions, get in touch at [email protected].

View RECBC,OSRE, and BCREA’s updated recommendations on open houses

  • As a managing broker, do I need to update my brokerage’s COVID-19 Safety Plan?

    The provincial health officer has issued a statement  — will open in a new tab advising that beginning in Step 3 of the Restart Plan, employers may begin to transition away from posting a copy of a COVID-19 Safety Plan at their workplace towards communicable disease prevention.

    To help employers prepare for this transition, WorkSafeBC has developed a Communicable Disease Prevention Guide  — will open in a new tab that outlines the steps employers must take to prevent communicable disease in the workplace. This includes understanding the level of risk, implementing appropriate measures, communicating policies and protocols, and updating them as required.

    Learn more about communicable disease prevention.  — will open in a new tab

  • I do not feel comfortable meeting clients in person yet. Can I continue to work virtually?

    Should you have concerns about meeting clients, showing properties, or hosting open houses in person, speak with your managing broker about your concerns.

    If you are only going to offer virtual services, you must inform your current clients immediately and disclose that information to any new potential client. Discuss the services you are willing to provide so that your clients and/or prospective clients can make an informed decision as to whether or not to continue in an agency relationship or enter into an agency relationship with you. Documenting that you will only be providing virtual services in your service agreement is recommended to ensure all parties are aware of the limitations to the services you are offering.

  • If my brokerage cannot accept electronic funds into their trust account, can my buyer send me the electronic transfer as long as I provide the funds immediately to my brokerage?

    No. If your brokerage is unable to accept electronic transfers into the brokerage trust account, the buyer will need to find an alternative payment method such as a certified cheque or bank draft. It is important to ensure that if the contract of purchase and sale stipulates that the deposit is to be made by electronic transfer, it must be amended to reflect that the deposit will be made in another form.

  • I am a strata manager, and my strata corporation clients want to hold their meetings in person but I’m not ready to go back to in-person meetings. Can I facilitate virtually?

    If your client’s bylaws allow electronic meetings (including AGMs, SGMs and hearings) you can facilitate those meetings virtually. If you wish to facilitate an in-person meeting virtually, you should discuss the matter with your managing broker. The requirement to attend meetings may be contractual in nature, so it is good practice to review the service agreement before discussing the matter with the strata council to attempt to resolve the issue.

    For information on electronic meetings, please visit the COVID-19 information for strata housing page  — will open in a new tab.