Governor's Office Provides Clarity for Real Estate

Updated Wednesday, March 25

Governor Charlie Baker’s office did not say that all real estate activities are essential, but his office did clarify what real estate brokerage activities can be done in addition to the ones that were already authorized:

An update to the Frequently Asked Questions about what is an Essential Service includes this language:

Open houses: While open houses are not prohibited, they are subject to the Governor’s order about limiting gatherings to ten people and the DPH advisory to stay home. If an open house is held, the number of people in the home should be limited to 10 at a time and social distancing should be enforced. CCIAOR does not recommend holding in-person open houses.

Real estate closings: Can continue, with social distancing for any in-person transactions

Real estate broker/agent meetings with clients: Cannot take place at the brokerage’s bricks-and-mortar place of business, but could take place remotely with social distancing, or by phone or video.

This means the following:

  • Showings are allowed if you follow social distancing guidelines and the maximum number of people at the showing is nor more than 10, under the open house provision. CCIAOR suggests you do as many virtual showings as possible instead;
  • You must not meet with clients at your office, and agents can not be working from your brokerage office. CCIAOR suggests all meetings such as listing appointments and buyer consultations be held virtually, and that brokerages and agents work remotely.
  • Activities related to real estate closings (appraisals, home inspections, and walkthroughs) can continue as long as they are not at the real estate brokerage;
  • Additional services covered in the original Essential Services list, specifically about legally mandated activities, such as deposit check delivery and financial transaction operations of your brokerage may continue.

CCIAOR DOES NOT recommend holding open houses as we have said from the start of the emergency orders. We recommend implementing as many virtual practices, including virtual showings, listing appointments, and buyer consultations as possible.

To help facilitate that, today, we launched the ability to hold a ‘Virtual Open House’ and ‘Virtual Broker Open House’ in the Cape Cod & Islands MLS.