May 20, 2020
There seems to be some confusion on rules regarding showing properties. Here are some best practices and guidelines based on the county and state orders, as well as the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR), California Department of Public Health, and the State of California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CAL/OSHA).
Virtual Showings If Feasible or Possible:
The county and state orders and guidelines continue to require all showings to remain virtual where feasible or possible.
Establish Guidelines in Advance:
It is prudent for the seller and listing agent to consider establishing strict guidelines in advance of any in-person showings. The CAR Coronavirus Listing Agreement Addendum and Amendment (RLA-CAA) includes provisions for the seller and agent to agree in advance to strict protocols and prerequisites for access to the property. They include, among other items, pre-qualification of the buyer, proof of funds, and a certain minimum threshold of buyer investigation such as review of virtual media, etc.
Fair Housing Considerations:
If standards are set as a prerequisite for in-person showings, the same standards must be used for ALL persons. The standards should be as objective as possible and avoid subjectivity and arbitrary choices.
In-Person Showings Under Strict Guidelines:
If the parties deem a virtual showing is not feasible, in-person showings may be accomplished under strict guidelines. The seller and REALTORS® must comply with the San Francisco County guidlines and California State guidelines and protocols. A signed Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration form should be received by the listing agent prior to any showing.
Establish a Shown Property Plan:
The listing agent should regulate the entry in order to comply with the COVID-19 General Checklist for Real Estate Transactions from the California Department of Public Health and CAL/OSHA.
The Shown Property Plan (“The Plan”) must be emailed to the showing agent in advance of the showing. Before entry the listing agent should confirm receipt of "The Plan" (and a promise of compliance) from the showing agent.
Posting Rules for a Showing at Your Listing:
Listing agents should post the following graphic at the entrance to the property so that it is visible to anyone showing the property. This has been provided by CAR but if your brokerage has something similar it can be used instead.
Download a PDF of the graphic HERE.
It has come to our attention that some agents are simply putting lockboxes on properties and then letting agents "go and show” with no protocols being followed. This is against the county and state guidelines.
According to state guidelines, all property showings should be limited to appointment only. Lockbox appointments are possible but require significant cooperation and coordination between the agents.
Supra Lockbox "Call Before Showing" Function:
We strongly suggest using the Call Before Showing feature on your Supra Lockbox so that you may control and track access. This feature allows the listing agent to regulate the removal of the key from the box. The key cannot be removed unless and until the showing agent calls the listing agent for a special code. Please download and review these Call Before Showing eKey app instructions.
Before and After an In-Person Showing or Entry:
Per the California Department of Public Health and Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 General Checklist for Real Estate Transactions, you are required to comply with the following procedures:
- Perform a thorough cleaning and disinfect commonly used surfaces before and after each showing.
- During a showing, introduce fresh outside air.
- Instruct employees to wipe down and disinfect items touched by customers after use.
- Provide time and compensation for workers to implement cleaning practices.
- Equip shown properties with sanitizing products for hands and surfaces.
- Provide and require clients, real estate licensees, and inspectors to use face covers and hand sanitizer.
- All people entering a property must wash hands with soap and water immediately upon entry and before touring or inspecting the property, or use hand sanitizer.
- Adjust or modify showings to provide adequate time for regular deep cleaning and disinfecting.
Note: Be sure to follow any additional protocols provided by your brokerage.
Thank you and stay safe,