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COVID-19 Guidelines & Best Practices

Wednesday, March 25 2020 4:56 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®

RSCK’s priority is the safety, health, and well-being of our members, staff, and community. We are committed to driving REALTOR® business and economic vibrancy of our communities. As we navigate this evolving emergency together, we urge all members to consult with their leadership, managing brokers, and attorneys. The COVID-19 pandemic and response are incredibly fluid. Members are urged to monitor our communication channels for changes and updates.

 

COVID-19 Guidelines & Best Practices

As of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday morning, the citizens of Sedgwick County are under a Stay-at-Home order for the duration of 30 days. Real Estate Services are considered essential business in the order. This means real estate professionals may conduct business outside the home only if absolutely essential, and only while continuing to take proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements. While this order is specific to the citizens in Sedgwick County, RSCK strongly encourages real estate professionals in Butler, Cowley, and Harvey counties to follow the guidance below for the health of our entire South Central Kansas community.

SCKMLS and RSCK Board of Directors issue the following guidelines and recommendations. Our goal is to provide you a better understanding of what the Stay-at-Home order means to your business.    

This document consists of two parts: guidelines and best practices. The guidelines are specific measures to maintain compliance with the “Stay-at-Home” order. The best practices are recommendations to serve the needs of your clients while complying with the order. Our classification as essential business and our ability to provide essential services are dependent on our collective actions and precautionary measures taken during this time. Please adhere to the following to the strictest degree possible.

 

PART I: GUIDELINES

Specific measures to be followed:

 

Open Houses

Open houses and broker opens are strongly discouraged. Open houses strictly contradict the health and safety guidelines currently provided by our local, state, and federal authorities to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Marketing of open houses in the MLS system will be suspended until the “Stay-At-Home” order is lifted.

Showings

Many homeowners are not allowing in-person showings due to coronavirus concerns. If showings are not allowed, use one of the following options:

  1. The listing remains active. MLS private remarks must state that no showings are allowed and related details (reason and timeframe) and a showing block must be set up in ShowingTime. Days on market will accumulate as normal.
  2. The listing goes in withdrawn status and is no longer active. Days on market will not accumulate.

ShowingTime has implemented a “No Overlapping Showings” default so two agents will not be scheduled to be in the same property at the same time.

Property Inspections

Inspections necessary for the closing of transactions are allowed. Social distancing requirements (6 ft. separation) must be followed.

Property Appraisals

Appraisals necessary for the closing of transactions, purchase, or refinance are allowed. Social distancing requirements (6 ft. separation) must be followed.

Closing Process

Most title companies have implemented new guidelines for closings including limiting attendance at those appointments. Please contact the title company for updates on their policies.

 

PART II: BEST PRACTICES

Recommendations to provide essential services to your clients:

 

Buyer and Seller Consultations

We recommend that members refrain from face-to-face appointments, unless deemed absolutely necessary, until the “Stay-at-Home” order is lifted.

  • Arrange for online meetings or conference calls with prospective buyers and sellers
  • Email presentation materials to buyers and sellers
  • Set up automated home searches for buyers
  • Ask sellers to provide video walk-throughs of their home for listing potential
  • Obtain electronic signatures on listing or buyer agreements

Showings

In-person showings should be conducted only for serious buyers who are in a position to write an offer. Social distancing requirements (6 ft. separation) must be followed.

  • Provide suggestions to sellers on how to prepare their home for showings: lights on, closet doors open, and hand sanitizer, gloves, and booties available at the front door
  • Suggest that the seller cleans surfaces before leaving and again when returning home
  • Instruct the buyers to refrain from touching surfaces in the house
  • Leave the house the way you find it
  • Restrict house viewings to the decision-makers only

Contract to Closing

Business related to the closing of transactions is considered essential. Best practices during this process are critical.

  • Sign all contract paperwork electronically and use online meetings or conference calls to review
  • Limit attendance at inspections to essential persons only and maintain social distancing requirements (6 ft. separation)
  • Encourage inspectors to wear gloves
  • Encourage inspectors to deliver inspection reports to buyers electronically
  • Make necessary arrangements for appraisers to inspect homes alone

 

This is not an all-inclusive list of real estate activities, nor should this replace the recommendations established by your company.

We are here to answer your questions. RSCK staff can be reached at (316) 263-3167 or you may email CEO, Sheila Rumsey, or Government Affairs Director, Dennis Clary, with inquiries about our guidance and the county order. Please visit the Sedgwick County website for detailed information about the Stay-at-Home order and the latest updates about the county’s response to the virus. Further, a bevy of information about coronavirus can be found on the National Association of REALTORS® website.

RSCK and SCKMLS are immensely grateful to everyone doing their part to flatten the curve, slow the spread of this virus, and save lives. Our industry is no stranger to adversity. As we have demonstrated in the past, our unity and care for each other will help us emerge from this challenge stronger than before.

Additional Resources

REALTORS® Secure Services as Essential in Sedgwick County Stay-at-Home Order

Tuesday, March 24 2020 12:09 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®

As we anticipated yesterday, the Sedgwick County Board of Health made a recommendation to the County Health Officer to enact a Stay-at-Home order.  At 11:00 a.m. today, it was announced Dr. Garold Minns signed the order.  It will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and continue for 30 days.

RSCK and its REALTOR® members were successful in lobbying the Sedgwick County Commission to include real estate services as an essential business in the order.  This means the real estate sector may continue to conduct business within Sedgwick County within the parameters of the various federal, state, and local government edicts (e.g. social distancing, no gatherings greater than 10 people, etc.).

There are bound to be questions.  Resources we’d like to point you to now:

  • Sedgwick County officials will hold a press conference to offer additional details at 1:00 p.m. today.  Watch here.
  • For your local one stop shop for all things COVID-19, go to www.sedgwickcounty.org
  • If you think you or someone else may be sick, dial 2-1-1
  • For Stay-at-Home inquiries from businesses, dial this hotline number 316-660-9000 or send an email to stayathomefaq@sedgwick.gov
  • RSCK will disseminate guidance to REALTORS® with information on how to operate in this environment this week
  • In the interim, please contact RSCK with questions at 316-263-3167 or dennis@sckrealtors.com with specific government affairs inquiries

Thank You,

RSCK Staff

SG Co. "Stay At Home" Policy - Deeming Real Estate "Essential"

Monday, March 23 2020 2:21 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®

To all RSCK and SCKMLS members,

 

We expect the Sedgwick County Commission to take action on a  “Stay at Home” order today at 4:00 p.m.  Beginning yesterday afternoon, RSCK has been mobilizing members to communicate with, and message to, Sedgwick County Commissioners.  Our goal has been simple: to ensure the continuity of REALTORS® placing people in homes by deeming real estate an essential business.

 

As of 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, we have received confirmation from three commissioners that, should an order be ratified by vote, language deeming real estate as an essential business is included. The section specific to our industry in the list of services deemed essential reads as follows: Professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, real estate services, and insurance services.

 

We have received tremendous cooperation and will now turn our attention to advocacy among the additional counties within our RSCK  geography as they deliberate plans. 

 

For those interested in the conclusion of today’s Sedgwick County Commission meeting, please tune in at 4:00 p.m. on the county’s YouTube Channel.

 

Please be patient and be safe.  Your association and local governments are working together diligently to keep you and our citizens safe.

 

Thank You,

Dennis Clary

RSCK Government Affairs Directors 

RSCK Covid-19 Update Regarding Operations, Meetings and Events

Friday, March 20 2020 8:43 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
March, 20, 2020
 
RSCK has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on our members and communities. The following is an update on how we are responding. Please keep in mind this plan is subject to change as circumstances evolve.
 
OPERATIONS – In an effort to protect our employees and support social distancing measures, the RSCK office doors will be locked beginning Monday, March 23rd and staff will work remotely. We are committed to serving our members with uninterrupted services and will continue to be available through email and the office phone number (316-263-3167).  The member desk will not be available through April.
 
We understand certain member services will require occasional in-person contact. We will schedule those appointments in advance (e.g. new member appointments, SUPRA issues, store purchases, etc.). Please call the RSCK office and together, we will determine the best way to proceed.
 
BOARD & COMMITTEE MEETINGS – During this time we will conduct all member meetings virtually. Your RSCK staff liaison will continue to be the primary point of contact for meeting details and questions.
 
EVENTS & CLASSROOM EDUCATION – Based on recommendations from federal, state and local officials, RSCK has postponed and/or canceled classroom education and events through April. If you have already registered for an event or class scheduled for March or April, please watch for communication regarding changes and related details. The weekly eReport will also provide updates for classes and events that may be transitioned to online.
 
CONFERENCE CENTER RENTAL – Conference center rental is suspended through the end of April. 
 
RESOURCES – Watch the RSCK website, social media and your email for new information, helpful links, webinar notifications and additional resources for your questions regarding real estate, education, COVID-19 responses and other topics.
 
These unusual circumstances are impacting every aspect of our daily lives and livelihood. RSCK leadership and staff want you to know that we care about each of you and the impact this is having on your lives. We are confident in our strength as REALTORS to work through these current challenges. Stay well.

Virtual Discussion - Coronavirus Impact on Local Real Estate 3.19.2020

Thursday, March 19 2020 3:57 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Wichita State University Center for Real Estate's Dr. Stan Longhofer partnered with us to provide a valuable discussion on the impact Covid-19 is having on the local real estate industry. We appreciate the RSCK and SCK MLS leadership, managing brokers, and business partner members that participated to make this discussion so beneficial.

RSCK COVID-19 UPDATE

Friday, March 13 2020 8:47 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®

Our priority is the safety and security of our members, business partners, staff and community. Considering the COVID-19 virus being declared an official pandemic and a national emergency, RSCK is taking steps to mitigate the risk of the coronavirus:

  • In accordance with today’s announcement from Sedgwick County declaring a ban on public gatherings of 250 people or more, we will not have any general membership events until further notice. 
  • Staff will review each committee meeting, council meeting, event and education class on a case-by-case basis to determine whether to cancel, postpone, or reschedule. Members participating in these various activities will be notified by email on the status. For those activities that continue, we will waive any cancellation fees and attendance requirements for anyone that does not feel comfortable attending.
  • For those meetings/events/classes that remain as scheduled, we will discourage hand shaking/other contact. We will be supplying hand sanitizer and working to minimize risks. We will practice “social distancing” and attempt to provide everyone with 3 feet of personal space.
  • All RSCK entry and exit door handles and other RSCK surfaces are being regularly wiped with disinfectant. Staff have been instructed to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer consistently throughout the day.
  • Any staff exhibiting the beginnings of flu or coronavirus symptoms will be required to work from home if the position allows or take mandatory PTO (paid time off).
  • Any member or volunteer visiting RSCK exhibiting flu or coronavirus symptoms will be asked to leave the building or meeting.
  • Staff will continue to monitor all applicable updates from health authorities for guidance.

 

We encourage our members and business partners to also take necessary precautions. Please consider limiting access to office buildings and providing health safety tips for showings and open houses. There are several great resources available for those making these important decisions about safeguarding the health of their employees and clients—A couple of the resources are listed here:

We are pleased to have a protocol in place to ensure continuity in the Association’s operations and continued service to our RSCK members. Currently, the Association office remains open for business, M-F 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. You are encouraged to watch for RSCK updates on our website, social media, and your email, as we navigate through the next few weeks.