As late as this morning, Saturday, March 28, 2020, the real estate industry in California was basically shut down. It was not considered a necessary or essential business in this time of Coronavirus pandemic. However, if one thinks about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, at the very bottom of Maslow's pyramid are the physiological needs of food, water, SHELTER, sleep, clothing and air. Shelter is obviously one of the most basic human needs.
Late this afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security updated its list of essential services, and issued the "ADVISORY MEMORANDUM ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE", which listed the following essential function:
"Staff at government offices who perform title search, notary, and recording services in support of mortgage and real estate services and transactions."
The Pacific West Association of Realtors(R) (PWR) expounded on the matter:
"Since Governor Newsom’s March 4, 2020 order incorporates this list, the order now includes residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, as essential services in California. However, if a city or county has an order with a more restrictive standard regarding what qualifies as an essential service, or more restrictions on activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee."
What that means is that real estate agents may now help their clients, home sellers and home buyers, in the sale and purchase of that most essential need: homes.
The PWR further stated that real estate agents must follow "existing protocols" to keep their clients and the public safe from the Coronavirus, and as such,
1. No open houses should be held.
2. Showings should be done virtual, if at all possible.
This information may change at any time, so watch for my next blog post to the latest update on real estate and the Coronavirus.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties