New Guidance Allows Certain Real Estate Activities

    New Guidance Allows Certain Real Estate Activities

    Mar 31, 2020

    New Guidance Allows Certain Real Estate Activities Under Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order

    Please note, this information is accurate as of this article's posting time, March 31st, 2020, at 8:00am. The situation is very dynamic and is subject to change.

    Governor Inslee issued a memorandum on March 28th to revise his initial Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in Washington State, redefining certain real estate activities as "essential services." With more than 17,000 pending transactions in Washington State, the spirit of the memorandum is to allow for the closure of these transactions, a top priority in preventing critical housing problems. The Governor's directive balances appropriate housing needs with the importance of protecting public health.

    The memorandum states that "While real estate activities have been approved as essential activities under the Proclamation, such activities shall only be permitted under the following restrictions and limitations:"

    • a) In-person meetings with customers are prohibited except when necessary for a customer to view a property or sign necessary documents;
    • b) No real estate open houses shall be permitted;
    • c) Property viewings, inspections, appraisals, and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by appointment and limited to no more than two people on site at any one time, exercising social distancing at all times; and
    • d) Except for the Limited exceptions authorized above, all new real estate listings shall be facilitated remotely.

    We are relying on Washington REALTORS® and for guidance in interpreting the Governor's memorandum. Clarification from Washington REALTORS® states the following:

    First of all, Realtors® must still comply with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy requirements for conducting business remotely from home. 

    • The updated memorandum does allow Realtors® to meet clients one-on-one when no other alternative is available
    • In no event may more than two people be on-site at a property at a time, including the owner/occupants and the Realtor®. This means the Realtor® can show one person a home while others wait outside in a vehicle. Or, the Realtor® may join an appraiser in the home, but no one else at the same time.
    • Appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols must still be strictly followed.

    Find in-depth frequently asked questions guides for consumers here, and for Realtors® here, both provided by Washington REALTORS®.

     We want to thank the Governor for his consideration in prioritizing housing during this unprecedented time. We take our responsibility to the communities we serve and our duty to public health seriously. As a reminder, this is not a return to real estate business as usual although we look forward to celebrating with you when that time comes. Let's all do our part to help stop the spread of this virus.