The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency CISA updated its list of essential services during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis and expressly included residential real estate. 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. Notwithstanding this new development, all real estate licensees must take into account the health and safety of their clients and fellow licensees and follow the protocols that exist for protecting against the spread of COVID-19. If such heath safeguards and protocols are not followed, the rule for the state could easily change to stop or restrict all real estate activity.
To that end, in conformity with current health guidelines, real estate licensees should follow all CDC and local health mandates. This includes the following: 1. No open houses should be held. (CRMLS has removed the option of holding Open Houses) 2. Showings should be done virtually.