Covid-19 changed the way in which properties are shown in the State of California. Open houses, scheduled showings and impromptu drop-ins are now a thing of the past. As the State is in Stage 2 of reopening following the State of Emergency that was declared in March 2020, the real estate market has adapted to adhere to the new set of rules due to the tireless efforts of the California Real Estate Association of REALTORS® (CAR).
Luckily, from the start, CAR has been and continues to prepare Covid-19 related documents, forms and guidelines for showing properties during Covid-19. More specifically, CAR has published a quick guide to “Complying with the Industry Guidance Showing Rules” and easy to read posters for clients.
Regulations are changing so rapidly and as entities are trying to keep up with new protocols, California real estate agents and brokers need to be on top of their game. Before showing a property, REALTORS® should review the local ordinances and the CAR documents, forms, and guidelines on a weekly, if not daily, basis. This will allow agents to make sure they are keeping up with standard practices and procedures such as cleaning before and after a showing, or only showing a property to two visitors, in addition to having the most up-to-date Covid-19 related documents for their clients.
Of all the things that real estate agents need to be aware of, there are five quick take a ways that REALTORS® can easily remember to practice when showing properties in the foreseeable future:
- Wear a mask;
- Wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer;
- Stay 6 feet apart from anyone not in your household;
- Avoid touching surfaces; and
- Throw all masks, gloves, and shoe coverings that were worn during the showing into the trash.
These five steps are simple, easy and not forgettable as some of the steps are part of the new normal.
It is the responsibility of the REALTOR® to make sure the rules are followed for not only their safety, but the safety of their clients. However, REALTORS® are not bestowed with the ability to enforce such rules if push comes to shove. So if there is a client who refuses to wear a mask, wash their hands, stands next to you or is touching all of the surfaces, terminate that relationship, but only after you have deep cleaned all of the surfaces in the house.
Abiding by all the rules seems daunting, but it is possible. If you need guidance or have any questions, Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP is here to help.