Dear GAOR Members:
I want to be sure you are aware of two updates that will hopefully make it easier to work and stay safe in the coming weeks and months while we are tackling this public health crisis. As always, please stay informed and use your best judgment on when and whether to continue working and meeting clients. At GAOR, the health and safety of our members and staff come first, and we want you to help protect yourself, your colleagues and your loved ones.
Q: Can I hold an open house this weekend and also livestream it on a service like Zoom or Facebook Live? I am concerned that this could be a violation of the MLS rule that prohibits personal or brokerage information in virtual tours.
A: Normally, posting a video or virtual tour that includes your brokerage info, logo, or your own contact info is a violation of MLS Rule 11.5, regarding Virtual Tours, and 12.5, Misuse of Public Remarks. In response to the current situation, we want to help agents and their clients protect themselves while showing property. GAOR offers a temporary solution described below.
Please note that the MLS Committee and GAOR Board of Directors will review this in the near future and may rescind this guidance or prescribe changes.
As of March 18, 2020 and until further notice from GAOR, you may livestream your Open House, using a service such as Zoom, Facebook Live, GoToMeeting, or other third-party service under the following conditions:
- Livestream is open and accessible to the public.
- Livestream is not recorded nor distributed on email, websites or social media, nor posted to a video hosting site such as YouTube or Vimeo.
- Livestream takes place only within the hours of the Open House, after which it is no longer accessible.
- The showing agent maintains full control over livestream tools including smartphones, computers, cameras and microphones.
- The showing agent must be onsite at the listing and the listing must be physically open to public access as for any normal showing. However you may follow C.A.R. and NAR guidelines for potentially screening individuals.
- A mention of and a link to the livestream may be posted in Public Remarks not more than two days ahead of the showing and must be removed from Public Remarks on the same date as the showing upon its conclusion.
Under these conditions, you may treat livestreaming as a “showing” rather than a virtual tour. As long as it is a “showing” then it will not be considered in violation of MLS Rule 11.5 or 12.5.
Please Remember! Posting in Public Remarks that does not comply with item #6 above is a violation of MLS Rule 12.5, “Misuse of Public Remarks and Media”.
New C.A.R. Form
Why did C.A.R. issue this form? The events surrounding the spread of COVID-19 has led to many questions about the continued enforceability of real estate contracts under the circumstances. Rather than risk an uncertain outcome in court or arbitration over such disputes, Buyers and Sellers may elect to address the unanswered issues contractually. This form allows parties to agree on a way forward for existing contracts and address potential issues in contracts that have not yet been formed.
Please read through the form with your clients and work with your broker, legal counsel or the
C.A.R. Legal Hotline
to determine whether this form is right for you.