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COVID-19 Guidelines & Best Practices

Wednesday, March 25 2020 4:56 PM

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

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