The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Issues “Three-Week Pause” Order – In-Person Real Estate Services Remain Permitted.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with Governor Whitmer, issued a “Three-Week Pause” Order tonight that will run from November 18th through December 8th. This Order comes as Covid-19 cases have been increasing statewide and hospital capacity has become a significant concern.
Michigan Realtors® has been in regular contact with the Governor’s Office and Health Policy Team to stress that real estate can be done in a safe and client-focused manner. As the order relates to real estate, it will allow for continued in-person client services and scheduled showings. However, the following restrictions will be in place:
- Masks are required for all gatherings, including real estate showings.
- While residential gatherings of 10 or less people are still permitted, the new rules provide that the 10 people cannot be from more than 2 households. What that means for Realtors® is that open houses are not permitted. In addition, showings will be limited to the buyers and the selling agent. Sellers cannot be present. Buyers cannot bring persons from outside their household to the showing.
- Work that can be feasibly performed remotely should be performed remotely.
Real estate brokerages and association offices will need to make independent business decisions based on whether the respective office work cannot feasibly be done remotely. In making this decision, it will be important to note that the Governor has repeatedly stressed the importance of Covid-19 Protocols and the necessity of a Covid-19 Preparedness Plan for all businesses, while placing additional scrutiny on businesses that require employees to come into the office as a condition of employment. Firms and association offices will want to have a strong argument that work in the office is necessary and ensure that staffing is as limited as possible.
Practices for Sellers Permitting Showings:
- Sellers may not be present during showings.
- Prior to any scheduled showing, Sellers should turn on all lights and leave interior doors, drapes and blinds open. This will ensure that anyone entering the home will not need to touch light switches/doorknobs.
- Prior to and after any showing, Sellers should clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, handles, light switches and countertops.
Practices for Buyers During Showings:
- Buyers and agents must wear masks.
- Buyers cannot bring anyone to the showing who is not in their household.
- Buyers attending showings should meet their agents at the property and wait in their car for the agent to arrive.
- Buyers should not bring anyone to the showing who does not need to view the property. All adults attending the showing should sign a Showing Certification and Release.
- Buyers should not touch any surfaces in the property. Buyers should not turn off lights or close interior doors. They should not share phones, pens, tablets etc. with anyone else attending the showing.
- Buyers are encouraged to wear gloves while viewing a home. Buyers should use hand sanitizer immediately prior to entering the home and upon exiting prior to getting into their car.
- Buyers are encouraged to minimize the time physically present at a home.
Many local health departments have issued their own rules, and Realtors® are strongly encouraged to check in their area for additional requirements.
reprinted from Michigan Realtors