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COVID-19 & The Return to Real Estate

Governor Whitmer Eliminates Remaining Real Estate Limitations and Reopens Much of the State.

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-110, rescinding her “Safer at Home” Order, and moving the entire state to phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan. This action removes most of the restrictions that real estate brokerages and clients have been operating under. As we reported last week, Michigan Realtors® was working with the Governor’s Office to remove the previously imposed real estate restrictions. Effective immediately, the following real estate activity is now permitted:

  • Private showings are no longer limited to 4 individuals on the property;
  • Open Houses are now permitted. However, as an enclosed public space rather than a private showing, masks should be required for those individuals participating. Participants should also adhere to existing 6-feet social distancing requirements;
  • Tenant-occupied property may now be shown subject to any requirements under the current lease;
  • Short-term rental properties may now be marketed without any state-imposed limitation. However, local restrictions may still be in force.

While many restrictions have been removed, the continued implementation of best practices geared toward Realtor® and client/customer safety remain important. These include:

  1. Asking sellers to turn on all of the lights and leave interior doors, drapes and blinds open.  This will ensure that anyone entering the home will not need to touch the light switches and doorknobs throughout the home;
  2. Asking sellers to clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces prior to and after the showing or open house;
  3. Meeting clients at the home rather than driving together to the showing;
  4. Encouraging the use of masks and gloves for private showings;
  5. Asking buyers to refrain from touching any surfaces in a home (including light switches and interior doorknobs).  Do not share phones, pens or tablets.

Today’s order also makes clear that real estate offices that are open for business must continue to follow the Governor’s workplace rules contained in an earlier order.  (Executive Order 2020-97, available here.)  The rules for offices cover written policies that must be put in place, day-to-day safety measures, as well as procedures to be followed in the event of possible Covid-19 exposure. We had previously provided Realtors® with a summary of these rules. (Available here.)

As always, please visit https://mirealtors.com/Industry-Resources for regular updates.

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