Guidelines for Real Estate Best Practices

Here are some Guidelines for Realtors – this should be of interest to buyers and sellers as well. During this unprecedented time we are all working very hard to keep this essential business of Real Estate as safe as possible. as we continue to serve you the best way possible.

Guidelines for Real Estate Best Practices During COVID-19

Updated on March 31, 2020

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® offers these Best Practices Guidelines to assist you in the safe practice of real estate. Following these guidelines will enable REALTORS® to demonstrate care for the health and well-being of clients, colleagues and the greater public welfare in reducing the risk of exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19, while providing the essential services of residential and commercial real estate recognized by the Department of Homeland Security as being necessary for the maintenance of America’s Critical Infrastructure.

Best Practices Guidelines

These guidelines reflect our understanding of Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order issued March 19, as updated by the “Advisory Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response” from March 28, 2020, which expressly includes residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, as essential services.

What are the recommended best practices that must be followed in all circumstances?

  • Showings should be done virtually, if at all possible.

  • All activities should be completed electronically, if at all possible.

  • Only a single agent and no more than two other individuals are to be in a dwelling at the same time during a showing. If other persons are necessary for a showing, they should wait outside or in their vehicles to observe the social distance guidelines.

  • Sellers are to be advised that they should not be present within a dwelling at the same time as other individuals. Sellers are to be advised that they may remain on the property or in the common area of an HOA but not in the dwelling unit itself while agents, buyers, inspectors or others are viewing it. If a seller insists on remaining on the property, that seller is to agree to the terms and sign the declaration (see below) that is required for persons entering the property.

  • Agents should read and understand the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to protect yourself. This is critically important!

  • Any persons on the property must agree to adhere strictly to the social distancing guidelines at all times by remaining at least six feet apart per the recommendations established by the CDC.

  • Any person entering a property shall provide by declaration that to the best of their knowledge, they are not currently ill with a cold or flu; do not have a fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, or exhibit other COVID-19 symptoms; have not been in contact with a person with COVID-19; and will adhere to and follow all precautions required for viewing the property at all times. All personsvisiting a property will agree to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer prior to entry, and to wear disposable rubber gloves and a protective face mask, if one is made available. In addition, sellers must disclose to all persons who enter the property if the seller is currently ill with a cold, flu or COVID-19 itself, or has a fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms, or has been in contact with a person with COVID-19. Further, if anyone who enters the property is later diagnosed with COVID-19, the person who is diagnosed must immediately inform the listing agent, who will then make best efforts to inform everyone who entered the property after the person diagnosed, of that fact.

  • Sellers and buyers must be expressly made aware of the risks of showing and visiting properties: that it may be dangerous or unsafe and could expose them or others to coronavirus (COVID-19). Sellers and buyers must be advised of their responsibilities pertaining to COVID-19 protocols regarding social distancing and other CDC guidelines.

  • The agreement of the seller allowing any person entering onto the property or into the dwelling must be expressly obtained from the seller. Apart from marketing and pre-marketing activities, a standard purchase agreement grants the buyer broad discretion to conduct various inspections and investigations. The seller should be apprised of their obligations under the purchase agreement so that they enter into such agreements with a clear understanding of the attendant risks.

  • To the extent possible, the use of various third-party services providers for non-essential services must be avoided and, where unavoidable, the providers must agree to sign an agreement to follow CDC guidelines.

  • REALTORS® should follow the above protocols when conducting any in-person interactions, but should refrain from any non-electronic unsolicited marketing during the COVID-19-related declaration of emergency.

  • Brokers should consider extending listings and putting a hold on marketing activities or other accommodations for those who, for health or other reasons connected to the COVID-19 virus, wish to stop actively marketing their property for the duration of the governor’s stay-at-home order.

  • Unless absolutely necessary, communications with clients should be done via electronic means or by telephone. In person conversations should be minimized unless absolutely necessary.

  • Contact me to learn more!

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Posted on April 15, 2020 at 10:56 pm
Kimberly Parrish | Category: Covid-19 Updates

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