I hope your week is starting off well!
- Yes, as we all could guess, on July 2, the Departments of Public Health and Cal/OSHA released new guidance on COVID-19, including some relating to real estate. While there are changes in office openings, cleaning protocols and other issues which required minor changes in the BPPP and related forms, be assured that they do not significantly change showing practices....
Governor Newsom Ordered New Statewide & County Closures:
, California closes some indoor business operations statewide and additional indoor operations in counties on Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days.
- Statewide indoor closures include restaurants, bars and breweries, wineries & tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms.
- County indoor closures include fitness centers, places of worship, indoor protests, offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, and malls. County closures apply to counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days. For a list of affected counties, please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/.
While our association offices are deemed non-essential, our county has not yet been placed on the watch list and we will continue to provide curbside service to members Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-4pm to ensure that you have the necessary tools to perform your real estate transactions. Please contact me directly at (530) 559-0262 to make an appointment.
- June Stats. - Check out the California Housing Market Update – June 2020 just presented by Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young yesterday. Sales have been up in Nevada County while inventory begins to decline statewide.
- UPDATED: July 2020 Coronavirus Forms Release Quick Summary: Yes, the forms have changed with the Governor's orders. The C.A.R. COVID-19 forms are all available in Lone Wolf transactions zipForm® Plus in the C.A.R. forms library, and can be easily located by searching the library under the “COVID-19” category. [updated July 13] [Download here]
Back to Addressing “Open Houses”
Open Houses on a walk-in basis are still prohibited
All showings still require either an appointment or a digital sign-in process prior to entry including completing an updated PEAD form. Any such showings still must follow these rules: (1) Have protective equipment made available like masks and hand sanitizer; (2) Thoroughly clean all shown properties and disinfect commonly used areas such as doors and door knobs, cabinet handles, switches, etc; in between showings (3) Control the number of people in the house by only allowing in one buying party at a time (which could be more than one person). The listing agent and buyer's agent may also be on the property at the same time; (4) All showings require appointments OR digital sign-ins.
Based on this, an advertisement using the term "Open House" alone is likely deceptive as it implies a walk-in basis without the mandatory appointments/digital sign-in protocols that are not typical for an “Open House.” no “Open House” signs be used, if they are, they must also include information on the sign or a sign rider indicating that appointments or digital sign-in are required before entry. Of course, the regular protocols of advance digital completion of PEAD forms before entering, social distancing, limitations on persons going through the house at one time, cleaning and disinfecting between each showing, etc. apply. However, any type of traditional open houses -- spontaneous walk-up with no digital sign-in or appointment or adherence to all protocols—would threaten the policy allowing licensees to show property and, worse, threaten the health of the seller and those visiting potentially causing a super-spreader event.
Realtors® using “Open House” signs or advertisements
without the riders about advance appointments
or digital sign-in may be subject to ethics discipline for violating the “true picture” test under Article 12 as the common understanding of an “Open House” by the public and the industry does not include advance digital sign-ins or appointments, along with the other protocols that would delay a spontaneous showing. In the end, variations on this would have to be decided by panels, in the context of the COVID-19 rules in place at the time.
Please also be aware the Department of Real Estate has reassigned 17 employees including 5 or 6 recently hired special investigators from its Los Angeles office to assist the Department of Public Health with contact tracing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As for licensees who may be violating/have violated the Governor’s Executive Orders, if the DRE learns of such violations, they indicated their focus is to educate the subject licensee and remind him/her of the importance to follow the Executive Orders and take efforts to minimize/eliminate the spread of the virus. Although the DRE did not explicitly so state, it is also possible that if these violations are egregious or repeated, they may also be reported to the authorities for further action.
Members who have questions about this guidance or anything else relating to transactions, please feel free to contact the
Member Legal Hotline.
Last Yet Not Least - We Need Your Vote on Bylaws Amendments; i
f you have not returned your response to the two Bylaws Changes, Friday is the deadline. Simply
, read the two proposed changes under member Update July 6 NCAOR Bylaws Amendments and email me at
with your "Yes" or "No" answers to the two changes.
Kathleen Hinman, RCE, ePRO