Governor Whitmer Extends “Stay at Home” Order with Increased Restrictions
Today Governor Whitmer extended her “Stay at Home” order with Executive Order 2020-42. This order takes effect today at 11:59 pm and continues through April 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm. With this extension, the Governor has taken an even harder line on travel, retailers, and other business activity. This extension leaves in place the current restrictions on Realtors®.
Executive Order 2020-42 maintains the March 19th memo from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency and keeps in place the
directing that real estate brokers and salespersons are not “critical infrastructure workers” and therefore may not leave their homes for work. The only narrow exception to the order is the instance where work is absolutely necessary to assist those with a genuine and emergent need, such as an immediate lack of shelter. The order also imposes two new restrictions impacting real estate activity:
- Travel between two residences in this state is not permitted after 11:59pm, April 10th;
- No one shall advertise or rent a short-term vacation property except as necessary to assist in housing a health care professional or volunteer aiding in the response to the COVID-19 crisis.
For now, Michigan Realtors® interpretation of Executive Order 2020-21 carries forward to the new Executive Order 2020-42. Real estate activities, like the showing of homes and other property, open houses, and other client contact should be considered to be non-critical and travel to do so is prohibited through April 30, 2020. It remains important to understand that the Governor has taken a very hard line on all licensed professions. She has indicated that enforcement for any licensed industry will be subject to double fines and will include action upon the licensee.
For those Realtors® with clients with a scheduled closing in the next three weeks, Michigan title companies, appraisers, and home inspectors will continue to do business subject to guidance provided by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Realtors® should check with the specific title company/appraiser/inspector regarding its policy.
Real estate brokerages still have the ability to participate in closings via conference calls or other video conferencing methods to comply with the Governor’s order. Additionally, real estate brokerages can still take new listings and work cooperatively with the seller to develop photography for the listings.
Despite this recent Order, we continue to advocate on your behalf to impress upon the Governor that there are many practical examples from other states of how to facilitate real estate activity in a health-conscious manner. Additionally, Michigan Realtors® continues to work with legislative leaders to provide recommendations on how the real estate market can continue to move forward, while keeping public health a priority. Our message will also reiterate that Realtors® are ready to lead the way in showcasing professionalism and integrity when the restrictions are lifted.