COVID-19 and Residential Real Estate Transactions
Kelly Santini’s residential real estate group is fully operational during the COVID-19 outbreak and we have made a number of modifications to our operations to accommodate the needs of our staff and clients. We are also working closely with our bank and other service providers to develop procedures that allow transactions to be completed while keeping the safety of all parties as a priority.
Important things to know if you are closing a real estate transaction or refinancing:
- Signing Documents – Rules have been loosened by the Law Society of Ontario with respect to ID verification requirements. We are now able to have clients sign documentation remotely so long as we can video chat with them. Clients can then email us back the signed copies of the documents, along with copies of their photo ID. If clients are not in a position to scan and email their documents, we can still meet them in our parking lot and have them sign documents while remaining in their car. The closing documents will be explained to clients over the phone in advance.
- Wire Transfers – To limit traffic to our offices and financial institutions, we are asking clients to wire us funds for their closings wherever possible. We are still accepting drafts when absolutely necessary.
- Collecting Keys – We are asking that, on purchase and sale transactions, keys be left at the property in a lock box. This is to limit the handing of items and the volume of courier traffic coming through our office and also is being done in anticipation that courier service could stop or be severely limited in the future.
- Possible Delays – Clients should be aware that some deals could still be delayed. Although transactions are closing, the speed in which they are being completed is being slowed. Banks have significantly limited their staff and wire transfers take time to be processed and can cause delays (sometimes to the following day) so clients should be made aware that slight delays should be planned for.
Our residential real estate team remains busy assisting clients with their real estate transactions and would be happy to assist anyone completing a purchase or sale this spring.