Information for Real Estate Consumers on COVID-19

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Wondering how real estate services will be affected as B.C. moves ahead with its four-step Restart Plan to lift health restrictions over the coming months? We’ve put together answers to common questions, to help real estate consumers make informed decisions that are right for them.

Whether you are buying or selling real estate, renting or leasing property, or have questions about strata management services, you can find independent, unbiased information from RECBC on the services to expect from a licensed real estate professional. Our Professional Standards Advisors are available to answer questions about real estate transactions and services. Get in touch at [email protected].

  • I want to sell my property, but I am not sure I am comfortable allowing people to view it in person. Do I have to allow in-person showings?

    There is no legislated requirement for sellers to allow their properties to be viewed in person. Some sellers may continue to be apprehensive about in-person showings for various reasons and may want to continue offering virtual showings as was suggested during the onset of the pandemic, with in-person showings only for buyers who intend to make an offer on the property. Speak with your real estate professional about the virtual options available to you, such as virtual open houses, to make sure that you are comfortable with the plan for marketing your property.

  • Do I need to meet with my real estate agent in person?

    During the pandemic, real estate professionals successfully transitioned to providing many services virtually. If either you or your real estate agent does not feel comfortable meeting in person, you should discuss how services will be provided before you decide to enter into an agency relationship with them.

  • Can I put down a deposit on a property by electronic funds transfer?

    If you wish to provide a deposit on a property through electronic money transfer, speak to your real estate agent to ensure the brokerage can accept electronic transfers. Under no circumstances should you provide an electronic funds transfer directly to the real estate agent’s personal bank account. All funds must be sent through the brokerage with which they are licensed.

  • Can I pay my rent by electronic funds transfer instead of by cheque?

    If you would like to pay your rent via electronic funds transfer, you should speak to the rental property manager about whether their brokerage is equipped to accept money electronically. If they are not, you may want to speak to your rental property manager as to other available payment options.

    Under no circumstances should you provide an electronic funds transfer for payment of rent directly to the rental property manager’s personal bank account. All funds must be sent through the brokerage with which they are licensed.

  • I’m a tenant whose landlord has listed my home for sale. Even though health restrictions are being lifted, I would prefer the property is not shown in person. Can my landlord show the property anyway?

    If you are uncomfortable with in-person showings, speak with your landlord or their real estate professional to discuss potential options. The Government of B.C. permits your landlord or their agent to enter the property with proper notice for the purpose of showing the unit to prospective buyers. You can find more information for COVID-19 and tenancies on the government’s Residential Tenancies webpage.

    For more information about the lifting of health restrictions, see B.C.’s Restart Plan  — will open in a new tab. If you have questions about the conduct of a real estate professional, contact one of RECBC’s Professional Standards Advisors for assistance.