To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Governor Inslee recently issued a statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, requiring the closure of all non-essential businesses.  Real estate brokers were initially classified as non-essential workers, prohibited from providing services in person.  The Governor subsequently modified his order, allowing brokers to provide services in person with restrictions.

How Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order
Affects Real Estate Activities

The changes that the Governor has made to his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, as it relates to real estate activities, have caused understandable confusion.  I thought it might be helpful to outline what activities are and are not allowed.

The following real estate activities are still allowed (with restrictions) under the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order:

  • Property showings
  • Home inspections
  • Appraisals
  • Final buyer walk throughs prior to closing

Social distancing protocols MUST be followed in connection with these activities. These protocols include:

  • All in person activities must be by appointment only
  • No more than two people, including the broker, can be inside a property at any given time
  • Those two people must remain at least six feet apart at all times

The following real estate activities are NOT allowed:

  • Professional staging
  • Professional photography or videography
  • Open houses

Because professional movers are NOT considered essential workers, some sellers may not be able to move out of their homes after closing until the Governor’s order is lifted.  In those cases, short term rental agreements will have to be put into place.

We endorse the Governor’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.  Though we now have the latitude to provide in person real estate services, it’s NOT going to be “business as usual” for us.  Until the Governor’s order is lifted, we will only be showing properties to buyer clients who MUST buy now and we will only be putting new listings on the market for seller clients who MUST sell now.  On behalf of our seller clients whose homes are already on the market, we’re grateful for the latitude that the Governor has given us and we plan to follow social distancing protocols in an effort to get those listings sold.

The long term impacts of Governor Inslee’s order and of the pandemic itself are difficult to predict, but I’ll share some thoughts about that in my next blog.

If we can be of any assistance to you during these challenging times, please don’t hesitate to ask.  We may not have all of the answers, but we’re happy to share what we know.

Mark Pinto is a top-producing Realtor with Windermere Chambers Bay, specializing in residential real estate in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, University Place and Lakewood.

Mark Pinto: (253) 318-0923

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