Does anyone know if real estate agent activities representing sellers and buyers are considered "essential services" legally in view of the COVID-19 social distancing and "shelter in place" orders?
FYI, I sent this question in to our trusted California Association of REALTORS Legal Hotline just a few minutes ago, and will share the answer I receive from the attorneys.
Whether it's showing houses to buyers, holding open houses, meeting with current and potential sellers, buyers, investors and landlords, as well as vendors such as pest control, roof and home inspectors, it would be helpful to know we are acting in compliance with the law.
Housing and shelter are definitely important needs. How can anyone "shelter in place" if they currently have no shelter? We know selling a house and buying a home are stressful activities already. Now complicating the government mandating no social gatherings to slow this pandemic, we see the closing of our broker's office except for absolutely essential in-person meetings and the temporary closing of our Santa Clara County Recorders Office.
All accurate and credible information from knowledgeable sources welcome.
Thanks for reading "Are Real Estate Agent Activities Essential Services?"
UPDATES since 3/17/20
The Local MLSListings suspended the accrual of all DOM (Days On Market) Through April 7, the current expiration date of Silicon Valley's "Shelter in Place" order. It also cancelled all scheduled and future agent tyours and open houses.
Read what CAR attorney's interpretation of California's "shelter in place" order here at
Please go to http://www.carcovidupdates.org for breaking news updates affecting REALTORS, including mandate for agents to cease engaging in face-to-face meetings, and the appeal to Congress for forgiveable SBA loans to REALTORS to help tide agents over during the "shelter in place" mandate.
Readers have alerted me that unlike California, some states, such as Illinois have determined that real estate agent acitivites are "essential services"; I'm curious to know how other states are handling this.