Information for Real Estate Professionals Regarding COVID-19

Real estate professionals interact with the public at a significant scale. Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides recommended strategies to protect workers and limit the spread of the coronavirus. In addition, the Virginia Association of Realtors (Virginia Realtors) has developed a COVID-19 Resource Page.

Executive Order 53 states “All businesses shall, to the extent possible, adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities while in operation.” In accordance with this directive, real estate professionals who conduct open houses, including builders who provide access to spec or model houses, and property managers of rental units who conduct walk-through showings, are advised to follow best management practices:

  • In response to Executive Order 53, Virginia Realtors recommended that its members stop holding open houses while Executive Orders 53 and 55 are in effect
  • Avoid showing occupied properties
    • To the extent possible, property showings should be conducted in empty units or by a video walk-through
    • Some populations are vulnerable to more severe illness caused by COVID-19 infection, and showing occupied rental units could put tenants, or prospective tenants, at increased risk
  • Adapt social distancing protocols to open houses and  property tours:
    • Limit interior access to no more than 50 persons at a time and ensure people can stay at least 6 feet apart from each other during the tour
    • Have all individuals who enter immediately wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
    • Have lots of extra pens and allow each person who signs in to use one pen that they then keep or you sanitize before another person uses
    • Ask people for their names and contact information that you write down or record on your electronic device
    • Open all doors and turn on lights prior to the start of the open house so that people can walk around the house without touching door knobs and light switches
    • Have paper towels near sinks in the event someone wants to turn a sink on/off
    • Have individuals wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon leaving
    • When possible, have visitors enter and leave from different doors
  • Clean thoroughly between scheduled visits in accordance with CDC recommendations