On Tuesday afternoon, Santa Clara County and 5 other Bay Area Counties (San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda) jointly announced that real estate agents now have a narrow exception to practice residential real estate as an essential business. The exact language of the order is as follows:
“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 (except that in person visits are not allowed when the occupant is still residing in the residence)”
Some important takeaways:
Showings should be done virtually, if at all possible.
All activities should be completed electronically, if at all possible.
If a virtual showing is not realistic, a private showing can occur with the following stipulations:
Only 1 REALTOR® can be present.
A maximum of 2 other people are allowed. These 2 people must reside in the same household.
The property must be VACANT, meaning no person currently still lives at the residence.
Open houses are still not allowed under any circumstances.
C.A.R. has released a list of guidelines for best practices during this COVID-19 health crisis. They help members to conduct essential business as defined by the County ordinance while keeping clients and themselves safe and healthy. Additionally, we are continually updating our Transaction Resource Page as we receive further clarification on this new ordinance and other updates.