Update: SAR Staff is pleased to announce that Sacramento County has updated their Public Health Order, and included our recommendation that occupied residences are now able to be shown. The order becomes effective at 11:59 p.m., May 1, and will be in effect until 11:59 p.m., May 22, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing by the Health Officer.
The language now reads, “Service providers that enable residential transactions (including rentals, leases and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit. These services must be carried out in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Order, to the extent possible…”
SAR Staff is pleased that Sacramento County now defines real estate as “Essential Services”. However, we want to share our thoughts, as well as C.A.R’s on ‘Best Practices’ during this time. This in no way means you should go back to business as usual. This is an unprecedented situation and should be treated as such. Keep reading for our recommendations:
- 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.
In Sacramento County, all showings must be done ONLY in permanently vacated houses.Updated May 1, 2020
- 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 persons visiting 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.
You can find the declaration here.
We sincerely believe in these recommendations, and hope that you adhere to them. We hope our members continue to be an example to others during these times and follow the rules of the CDC and the guidelines of our statewide organization. Thank you and stay safe.