Stay Home, Stay Healthy: Modifications for Real Estate Industry
Until today, real estate was considered a non-essential business under the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Today, common sense prevailed. Under certain circumstances, real estate is back in business. Specifically, agents can show homes in Washington by appointment to their buying clients. However, only two people can be inside the home at one time.
For example, your agent can show you this home now by appointment and then follow all these rules.
This also means that agents who have homes ready to list will now be bringing these homes on the market. In a low-inventory market like we’ve had for months this will be a welcome relief.
On Saturday, March 28th, in cooperation with Washington Realtors, Governor Inslee agreed to certain modifications to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order (the “Order”) for the real estate industry. Due to the fact that the vast majority of real estate brokers are abiding by the Order, several of the original restrictions on in-person activities have been revised – provided that strict protocols for social distancing are implemented
Please note that if real estate brokers do not comply with the required protocols or violate other provisions of the Order, the Governor may place further restrictions on the real estate industry.
The protocols that must be followed for the permitted in-person activities include:
- In-person activities must be by appointment only;
- No more than two people, including the broker, may be at the property at any one time; and
- Those two persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) by remaining at least six feet apart at all times
The revisions to the Order are limited to allow the following in-person activities, provided the above protocols are followed:
- Previews and showings of listings by appointment only;
- Listing presentations, photography, and creating virtual tours for new listings [Note: professional photographers are not considered “essential,” thus all photos must be taken by the broker or seller];
- Inspections for pending transactions;
- Appraisals for pending transactions;
- Buyer “walk-throughs” for pending transactions prior to closing; and
- Providing keys to buyers at closing.
The Order strictly prohibits all other real estate brokerage services that are not conducted remotely from the broker’s home. Also, please note that staging and moving services are not considered essential and also remain prohibited by the Order. Any violation of the Order is a gross misdemeanor and a violation of the real estate license law (RCW 18.85).