Can real estate agents legally engage in face to face, in-person real estate activities, such as listing appointments, showing houses, hosting open houses and meeting inspectors at homes with California's current "shelter in place" order?
As readers of my post,"Are Real Estate Agent Activities Essential Services?" know, I reached out to our California Association of REALTORS Legal Hotline to speak with an attorney for the answer and interpretation of the law under the state's mandatory "shelter in place" order.
While many of us in real estate equate housing with shelter, it's important to know the California law does not.
"As I interpret it, the order says to 'shelter in place', meaning stay in whatever shelter you are currently in-not seek new housing or a different shelter unless you are homeless or in danger where you are," the CAR attorney said, "If a client tells you it's an emergency and need to you to help them sell or buy a house, you may have some legal standing to engage in real estate activities, but otherwise, the way it's written, I'd say no in person real estate activities."
The attorney confirmed that not in person activities, such as video house tours, regular and FaceTime phone calls, livestreaming events, holding Zoom conferences and webinars, online and telelphone marketing activities, and electronic signings should all continue to be legally acceptable actitivites under the current law.
This was not the answer I, or likely many of you, hoped to hear. However, we need to know and understand the truth so we can best help and advise our real estate customers and clients.
Image of Dr. Li Wenliang, whistleblower of the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan, China, currently in public domain.
Thanks for reading "CAR Attorney: RE Agent Activities are Not Essential Services".