COVID Guidance Revised to Allow for Open Houses and Updated Showing Rules

COVID Guidance Revised to Allow for Open Houses and Updated Showing Rules

By: D. Keith Dunnagan, Esq.

May 16, 2021

For the last year, real estate professionals have been navigating numerous changes in regulations involving real estate transactions related to COVID prevention. As a result, many transactions have been using virtual showing technology, while no substitute for seeing the property in person, it provided a means to get properties in front of buyers. One of the first safety precautions adopted to reduce the spread of COVID was the restriction on open houses.

New guidance from the State issued late last week amended the protocols for real estate transactions industry to allow for open houses. Additionally, more lenient protocols related to in person showings were also adopted. This is still not business as usual but is a great step forward in restoring some normalcy to the industry. While the State guidance has been amended, Brokers and Salespersons should also be continuing to monitor local regulations as well. Your local City or County health directives may be more restrictive than the statewide guidance.

Both the California Association of Realtors (“CAR”) and Sacramento Association of Realtors (“SAR”) have released updated information related to the guidance.

You can find the CAR updated guidance here.

You can find the updated SAR video guidance here. (On the SAR YouTube channel or on the main page of the SAR website here.)

The Statewide COVID industry guidance can be found here. (Scroll to the section titled Real Estate Transactions).

With the current market conditions, the ability to create more interest in properties with open houses is welcome. With a still low supply and very high demand listing agents may see even more offers and generate more interest as buyers get back out in public to view homes. With open houses, listing agents will want to be more vigilant to make sure that proper protocols, including but not limited to social distancing and sanitization are maintained.

We all welcome these changes and look forward to returning to whatever normal will look like once the COVID pandemic is in the rear-view mirror.

The information presented in this article is not to be taken as legal or accounting advice. Every situation is different. If you are facing a legal or accounting issue of any kind, get competent legal and/or accounting advice in your state immediately so that you can determine your best options.

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