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Pennsylvania Real Estate is Open!

Since Gov. Wolf's mid-March, statewide shutdown, real estate has been deemed a "non-essential" service and industry. Not only has that meant real estate agents can't show homes, but all rental/sale activities have been halted, including any in-person showings, even by a seller, in-person mortgage appraisals, home inspections, etc. While there have been homes going on the market, and some even pending sale, homes that have gone under contract after March 18th have been all-but-impossible to close. And even those homes that went under contract were often accompanied by clauses from the buyer stating that they still had the option to view the home before choosing to purchase. Many of them were still waiting to see the house they had made an offer on.

Until yesterday at 3 p.m. when Gov. Wolf changed his initial order to allow real estate activities to be conducted as an essential service across the state, regardless of "Red" or "Yellow" status. That means Philadelphia-area real estate can resume!

But it won't be "business as usual". This has allowed business to resume and deals to close but there are some stipulations on how that business is conducted. Here are the key points:

✔ For in-person showings, no more than the real estate agent and TWO key purchasers can be present. That means no children or extended family may walk through the house.

✔ All people at in-person showings must have a mask on covering their nose and mouth. All people must sanitize their hands before and after seeing a property. Further, all touched surfaces must be disinfected by the agent after showing.

✔ Showings on a home must be at least 30 mins apart to allow for sanitizing.

✔ Anyone showing a house should not have symptoms of COVID-19 such as a fever, can not have a positive COVID-19 test or a pending test, and must have been 14 days symptom free if they did have a positive test.

✔ All settlements will be limited to only necessary parties and sellers should try to sign a deed package with a mobile notary in order to not be present.

✔ No open houses, except virtual ones, may be held.

Photo by Marica Romeo on Unsplash

While not part of the state's formal real estate policy, there are several things that buyers and sellers are likely to see or include as we continue to put safety first:

✔ Some showings will still be virtual as desired. This is perfect for first looks, etc. And things like virtual tours and 3D tours will likely continue to be a preferred way of marketing homes

✔ Some sellers may require buyers to be pre-approved, see the house virtually first, etc before scheduling an in-person tour to limit the traffic in their home.

✔ Real estate agents may suggest buyers and sellers use certifications that a buyer/seller/tenant has been symptom free before showing a home.

✔ Most listing appointments, buyer consultations and follow up meetings with clients will be done virtually, regardless of symptoms

We have learned some great things over the last two months about bringing current technology into real estate, but this industry will always need some in-person aspects so we are glad to be able to continue business in a safe way moving forward!

I will be posting more info for Buyers, Sellers and Renters over the coming days but until then, always feel free to reach out via phone, text or email with questions!


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