We are now several weeks into our “Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order” that Gov. Jay Inslee just extended to May 31, and we thought it appropriate – as well as timely – to share the highlights of the mandated protocol for showing homes, and some good news to go with it!

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To begin with, I feel it is most important to share that we are in agreement with the order, but we watch with despair and heartache as we hear of businesses that just cannot survive the shutdown. What a hard time of adjustment to an unprecedented pandemic. The main theme of our mandated protocol for real estate is that we limit in-person interactions to the greatest extent possible, and only engage in in-person real estate activities when required. This makes sense.

Some of the key points

• In-person activities must be by appointment only.  

• No more than two people, including the broker, may be inside the property at any one time.

• Those two persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines established by the CDC by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.

The in-person real estate brokerage services that are now permissible during our “Stay Home…” order allow us to:

• Conduct listing presentations, take photos and create virtual tours for new listings.
• Facilitate the signing of contract documents.
• Preview and show listings by appointment only.
• Facilitate inspections, appraisals, buyer “walk-throughs,” and key delivery.
• Hire professional photographers.

We cannot hold Open Houses, but we can live stream or record a virtual open house. Additional steps we are doing for our upcoming listings to protect our sellers:

• Buyers must be pre-approved and provide the pre-approval prior to visiting one of our listings.
• One use, disposable booties are required to enter the home.
• A facemask must be worn during the showing.
• We will provide hand sanitizer at the entry.
• We will ask that buyers limit what they touch inside the home. 

Ready for Some Good News?

Real estate is still working! Once our Washington State Association of Realtors managed to work out a safe protocol with the Governor’s office and gain approval, our real estate market has been engaged and working.

We offer you a chart that reflects the growing health of the real estate market in our area under the approved guidelines of the “Stay Home” order.

The included chart is for the Eastside combined and shows the number of newly listed homes in the last 7 days, and the new pending contracts in that same period. The chart shows 10 data points from March 2, 2020 to May 4, 2020. Notice that the numbers on the chart peaked in mid-March just before the Coronavirus crisis began, tanked in early April when our “Stay Home” order went into effect and has now been growing nicely again since mid-April.

We are learning how to do real estate within the guidelines of the “Stay Home…” order, and have found that the market is receptive and stronger than expected.

Stay healthy!