Stay Home, Stay Healthy Revision 3/30/2020

***As of 4/1/2020 Governor Jay Inslee has approved activity for Photographers, Videographers, Stagers and Movers as long as they abide by the CDC Guidelines***

 

 

Information provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service 3/28/2020 * Some revisions announced 4/1/2020

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). Taking into consideration these revisions to the Order, please review the revised FAQs below:

 

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What in-person real estate brokerage services are now permissible?

Provided the above protocols are followed for any permitted in-person activity, real estate brokers may:

 Conduct listing presentations, take photos, and create virtual tours for new listings;
 Facilitate signing of contract documents;
 Preview and show listings by appointment only; and
 Facilitate inspections, appraisals, buyer “walk-throughs,” and key delivery.

Real estate brokers may not:

 Conduct any business outside of their home (with the exception of the above noted activities); or
 Hold an open house.

Note that any broker who violates the Governor’s order not only puts himself/herself and his/her family at great personal risk, but also puts the broker’s real estate firm and his/her clients at risk. Any violation of the Order is a gross misdemeanor and a violation of the real estate license law (RCW 18.85).

Can brokers physically preview or show properties?

Yes. In-person previews or showings of properties are permitted if the required protocols are followed.Previews or showings must be by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the broker, are permitted at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC. Any previews or showings should be conducted as expeditiously as possible.

Real estate brokers may not leave a third party unattended in a property. Accordingly, brokers must only bring one person at a time into the property. Sellers should vacate the property prior to any preview or showing appointment. In addition, listing brokers should stagger any preview or showing appointments to avoid any overlap.

In lieu of physically showing the property, brokers and buyers can utilize virtual tours and videos that are included with the listing. Brokers should also consider virtual showings to further practice social distancing.

Can inspectors conduct home inspections during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order?

Yes.  If an inspection is required in a pending transaction, an inspection may be conducted, provided that it is by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the broker, are at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC. The inspection should be conducted as expeditiously as possible. A pre-inspection of a property prior to mutual acceptance of a purchase and sale agreement is permitted, provided that it is by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the broker, are at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC. The pre-inspection should be conducted as expeditiously as possible.

 

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Because a broker may not leave a third party unattended in a property, the two people at the property for the inspection should be the broker and the inspector. Sellers should vacate the property prior to the inspection.

Can appraisers conduct in-person appraisals during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order?

Yes. If an appraisal is required in a pending transaction, an appraisal may be conducted, provided that it is by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the broker, are at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC. The appraisal should be conducted as expeditiously as possible. Sellers should vacate the property prior to the appraisal. Can buyer’s brokers conduct “buyer walk-throughs” prior to closing during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order?

Yes. If a walk-through is required in a pending transaction, a walk-through may be conducted, provided that it is by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the broker, are at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC. The walk-though should be conducted as expeditiously as possible. Sellers should vacate the property prior to the walk-through.

Can brokers retrieve house keys and provide to a buyer after a closed sale?

Yes. If keys to the property are not otherwise available to a buyer at closing, a broker in the transaction may make arrangements to retrieve and deliver the keys to the buyer, provided that it is done so by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the broker, are at the property or at the location of the key delivery, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC.

Can real estate brokers input new listings in the MLS system during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order? What about property photos?

Yes. Real estate brokers are permitted to input new listings into the MLS system – from their home. Real estate brokers may conduct listing presentations, take photos of the property, and create virtual tours for new listings, provided that those activities are done so by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the broker, are at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC. In addition, a seller may take pictures of his or her own property and send those photos to the listing broker. Please note that professional photographers are not considered “essential,” thus all photos must be taken by the broker or seller.

Can brokers install for-sale signs at a property during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order?

Yes. Brokers are permitted to install for-sale signs, provided that the sign is installed by appointment, a total of no more than two people, including the broker, are at the property at any one time, and those two people adhere to strict social distancing guidelines established by the CDC.

As a practical matter, brokers should install a temporary sign until the order is lifted, as third party sign installers and “call before you dig” services are not considered essential.

 

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Can stagers stage homes and remove furniture from a listing during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order? * Revised 4/1/2020

Yes. Stagers may stage homes or remove staged furnishings from a listing for the duration of the order.

 

Can moving companies move buyers into a property and move sellers out of a property? *Revised 4/1/2020

Yes. These services are considered essential.

Information provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service 3/28/2020  **Some revisions were made 4/1/2020

Posted on March 30, 2020 at 7:36 pm
Becky and Steve Larsen | Category: Helpful Information, Strategy

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