On Saturday, March 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated its list of essential services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and expressly included residential real estate.
The order now includes residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, as essential services. However, if a state, city or county has an order with a more restrictive standard regarding what qualifies as an essential service, or more restrictions on activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee. Here’s the official notification in you want to read it in full.
Here’s what the California Association of REALTORS® is recommending based on the industry’s updated status to essential services.
“Notwithstanding this new development, all real estate licensees must take into account the health and safety of their clients and fellow licensees, and follow the existing protocols for protecting against the spread of COVID-19. If such heath safeguards and protocols are not followed, the rule for the state could easily change to stop or restrict all real estate activity. To that end, in conformity with current health guidelines, real estate licensees should follow all CDC and local health mandates.
1. No open houses should be held.
2. Showings should be done virtually, if at all possible.”
Here’s a few safety and health protocols ideas to consider:
– Socially Distance – Ask your clients to leave the home or stand at least 6 feet away from you, the photographer or the Home Inspector enters the home. Try not to touch any surfaces, but if you do by mistake, wipe the surface clean with disinfectant wipes or sprays.
Of course, wash your hands BEFORE you enter the home, do not shake hands with anyone and wash your hands immediately AFTER leaving the home. And of course, if you or anyone in your home has been sick with any type of cold or flu, do not enter the home at all.
– Use the virtual showings software that is available and use 3D virtual tours wherever possible to make it easier to understand the home
– Create 3D tours and online Floor Plans – include Floor plans on your listings to help potential buyers get a flow of the house.
– Live, Virtual Walkthroughs – Instead of doing live showings, ask your client to tune into a zoom meeting on their phone and they can walk you and your potential buyer through the home
– Inspections with Hazmat Suits – Ask your Home Inspector to wear their hazmat suits when entering the home to avoid any contamination. Many of them already own hazmat suits because of some of the nasty nooks and crannies they need to examine anyway
Source: WAV Group