UPDATED REAL ESTATE COVID FAQ

On May 21st, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation updating the “Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery" plan and providing information regarding face coverings. In addition, the Department of Labor and Industries published guidance for employers regarding face coverings.

On May 21st, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation updating the “Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery" plan and providing information regarding face coverings. In addition, the Department of Labor and Industries published guidance for employers regarding face coverings. 

The following applies to real estate firms and face coverings in the office:

Consumers visiting a real estate office:

  • Firms can require all consumers to wear a face covering;
  • Firms can allow consumers who are fully vaccinated to not wear a face covering after providing proof of vaccination; or

  • Firms can allow consumers who are fully vaccinated to not wear a face covering based upon the honor system.

For brokers and employees in a real estate office:

  • Firms can require all brokers/employees to wear a face covering; or
  • Firms can allow brokers/employees who are fully vaccinated to not wear a face covering after (a) showing proof of vaccination; or (b) providing a signed document attesting to vaccination. The firm should maintain a log of persons who have verified that they have been vaccinated, including the method and date of verification.  

The following applies to visits to a property (showings, inspections, appraisals, open houses, etc.) for brokers, clients, and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, etc.):

  • All persons must wear a face covering unless the seller instructs otherwise (i.e. the seller explicitly allows fully vaccinated persons to not wear a face covering in the property).

Note that, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine; or
  • Two weeks after the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As a reminder, effective Tuesday, May 18th, every county is in Phase 3 of the “Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery" plan, where the following protocols apply:

  • Capacity for real estate offices, including guests, is limited to 50% or lower. Appointments are not required for clients to visit real estate offices. Remote meetings with clients are encouraged.
  • In-person brokerage activities at the property (showings, inspections, etc.) are permitted by appointment with no more than ten (10) people on site, in addition to the broker.
  • In-person open houses are permitted with no more than ten (10) people are on site, in addition to the broker.  

The following protocols continue apply to all in-person activities (previews, showings, listing appointments, inspections, walk-throughs, appraisals, etc.):

  • In-person activities must be by appointment only;
  • All persons must wear a face covering unless the seller instructs otherwise (i.e. the seller explicitly allows fully vaccinated persons to not wear a face covering in the property); and
  • Those persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.

Washington REALTORS® and the Northwest Multiple Listing Service have provided FAQ guidance. Please review the downloadable WR-NWMLS-FAQs (revised 05-21-21) on which activities are permitted and the protocols required for permitted activities.  

If you have questions on this, or any other real estate legal question, email LegalHotline@warealtor.org. The Legal Hotline is a Washington REALTOR® member-only benefit. 

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