Showing Requirements during Covid

I wanted to provide a quick update to let you know how things are changing and adjusting – again.  Hopefully some of these changes will make things easier on you.
Last week, the state of California issued guidance (new law) for showing practices during the pandemic in coordination with Cal Osha and the Department of Public Health.  For the most part, they adopted the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.’s) Best Practices with some changes.
All Brokers must have a plan and rules for showing property.  To satisfy the state requirement:
1-The Best Practices are no longer a recommendation, they are now law and required.  C.A.R. is updating them to include everything that the state added in their last update.  These will be considered “the plan.”
2-The PEAD form (Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration) will be updated and split into 2 separate forms – one for the occupants to sign and one for those who will enter the property.  This will be considered “the rules.”
3-Listing agents must post a blank copy of the PEAD form (rules) and a pictogram (above) at the entrance of the property.
The pictogram is also being revised.  Gloves and booties will no longer be required to be worn by everyone entering the property, but they must sanitize hands prior to entering or wash hands immediately after entering, and the seller must provide either the sanitizer or a wash station in the home for this purpose.  The seller (or listing agent) must also provide masks and sanitizing wipes (for cleaning after the showing).  Although gloves and booties are not required, masks still are, and while the hope is that people have their own masks, they may not enter listing properties if they don’t have one.
With the new regulations by the state, agents are also responsible for “thorough cleaning and disinfecting between showings.”  C.A.R. was able to have language removed from the law that also would have required period deep cleaning of the listing properties.  It is unclear who is required to do the cleaning, but it is most likely the showing agent(s) as the occupants of the home and the listing agent(s) is/are not present during and immediately after showings.
If you are conducting “open houses by appointment” agents will need to adjust the appointment times to allow for the thorough cleaning and disinfection in between each showing.
C.A.R. hopes to send out the revised Best Practices, PEAD forms and pictogram to all members later this week. 

Can I Buy or Sell a House During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Coronavirus

As spring homebuying season approached this year, Mike and Tammy York of Lompoc, California, listed their house for sale and started looking for a home to buy in Bakersfield, California, where they want to retire.

But then the coronavirus outbreak called everything into question. When the governor of California issued a statewide stay-at-home order March 19, the York’s wondered if they were stuck.

“We thought, ‘Now what are we going to do?'” Mike York says.

Welcome to today’s real estate market, where many ask if it’s still possible to buy or sell. As the Yorks have found, the answer is yes, though the process includes some new challenges.

“There are people out there buying and selling real estate,” says Jeanne Radsick, president of the California Association of Realtors and a real estate agent with Century 21 Jordan-Link & Co. in Bakersfield. “But it’s not just business-as-usual.”

Government social distancing regulations vary by state, county and city. Some states never instituted stay-at-home orders. Others plan to reopen soon, and still others have not set a date to end strict shelter-in-place requirements. Rules about whether real estate is an essential service during a stay-at-home order also vary.

If, like the York’s, you want to sell or buy a home despite the pandemic, here are some of the things you may encounter.

About the author: Barbara Marquand writes about homeownership and mortgages, and is NerdWallet’s authority on insurance.

2020 – 1st Quarter Real Estate Update

REAL ESTATE UPDATE LAKE TAHOE

Chase International just released their local statistics for the 1st quarter at South Lake Tahoe.  I must say some of the numbers are weaker than I thought they would be.  Keep in mind while the coronavirus picked up steam in March, most of March sales volume occurred from business written in January and February.  Nonetheless we had a strong first quarter for condo sales increasing a whopping 93% from this time last year to $13,571,000.  Note that condo sales increased by 11% on the Nevada East Shore.  However single family sales volume declined 14% to $54,321,000 at South Lake while Nevada declined 29%.  The median sales price for condos rose by 11% to $352,000 while single family homes declined 20% to $444,000.  Not sure what’s up with the condo market but that’s where the action is right now.

I’m sure you heard about the Nevada Governor Directive where open house showings, and in-person showings of single family and multi-family residences currently occupied by renters of real estate on the market for sale, are hereby prohibited for the duration this Directive is in effect.  However you can transfer ownership, as long as you do not need to view the property interior, inspectors do not need to go inside, appraisals are done from the exterior or the buyer waives his rights.  The new owner still has to honor the current lease and also cannot evict until this Directive is over.

I can be reached at 775-309-8454 if you need assistance.  My email is RStiles@ChaseInternational.com.  Be safe everyone!

Home Inspections

Home Inspection

I was curious as to how the home inspectors were handling the coronavirus so I reached out to Josie at TAG for an update.  Her response is below.
Hey Robert,
As of now, we are still working our inspections that were on the books.
We usually were 14 weeks fully booked with 2 per day.
What we did to minimize exposure is spread out our inspections doing 1 per day only which will keep us busy till about 3 weeks into April.
And with restrictions of course.
Properties need to be vacant, no tenants, buyers or sellers present and we wear our protective gear. 

Hope this helps,
Josie& Alan

Tag, inc

March 2020 NV East Shore Update

REAL ESTATE UPDATE LAKE TAHOE

We had 16 residential home/condo sales on the Nevada East Shore during March. A 23% increase from the 13 sales in March of 2019. The median sales price also increased from $900,000 to $1,190,000 for residential home sales yet the average days on market declined from 223 days last year to 142 days. For those curious if any properties were withdrawn from the market there were 16 withdrawn this year as compared to only 7 in March 2019. Agents are finding other ways to show your property at this time. I have been using video for my listings as well as for buyers not wanting to venture inside our current listings. I am also wearing gloves at this time and have noticed owners placing sanitizer near their front doors for everyone’s use. Be safe everyone. Learn more by visiting RealEstateLakeTahoeStiles.com for more information. Call 775-309-8454 to schedule an appointment.

California Association of REALTORS® Guidance Statement

Coronavirus

“Governor Newsom and the State Public Health Officer issued Executive Order N-33-20 requiring all Californians to stay home except as needed to maintain continuity of operations in 16 infrastructure sectors. This supersedes all existing local city and county orders that are less restrictive. The real estate industry is not exempt from this prohibition except as needed to maintain “continuity of operation … of … construction, including housing construction.” Therefore, REALTORS® should cease doing all in-person marketing or sales activities, including showings, listing appointments, open houses and property inspections. Clients and other consumers are also subject to these orders and should not be visiting properties or conducting other business in person. 

Property management and repair work, which generally involves maintaining sanitary and safety conditions is permissible. Additionally, many other aspects of the real estate industry can continue to occur without in-person contact, including documentation and signing, and in many circumstances, closings. Other activities may also be managed remotely, though there may be some difficulties.”

Disclosure of Potential COVID 19 Exposure

What to do if an agent learns that a visitor to the property, including potentially another agent, tested positive to COVID 19 — is disclosure required or recommended?

This information would be material to anyone at risk for potential exposure but raises the question of whether it’s a property concern or a people concern. Is the concern that the property site itself might have been or is contaminated? Or is the risk of having been around a particular person? And was this person on or offsite from the property?

Legally, known material conditions related to the property should be disclosed. Per the CDC, it’s possible the virus can spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects on a property, meaning a person could get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. However, the more relevant aspect to potential exposure pertains to the timing of contact with the property and the infected person and any others who came for a period thereafter. This is not purely or a per-se property condition. But to be on the safe side, a disclosure could be made. Disclosing through the MLS would not be the most effective way to communicate this information because (a) no further showings should be ongoing under the order of March 19, 2020, and (b) the concern at issue is backward-oriented and person-focused (and not a permanent property condition) for those potential visitors and/or agents identifiable from lockbox or other records as having been at the property during that time period with the exposed person. Notice could then be given in a targeted way.   

If making a disclosure, it should be done in a generic way so as not to invade privacy or implicate personal information. This would mean not using names but a general description along the line of “a visitor to the property on Xdate has tested positive for COVID 19.” 

“© California Association of REALTORS®, Inc. Reprinted under a limited license with permission.”