After Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued an executive order that directs Hoosiers to stay at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Indiana Association of Realtors® sent out an email to real estate personnel informing them of what the executive order means for them and what the guidelines for operation are.
The order lists real estate services as essential business which includes appraisal and title services. (Number 14, section T) This is good new for many REALTORS® who are considered small business owners, and their clients who are still buying and selling following major events.
"However, we cannot stress enough that it is NOT business as usual," IAR states in their letter. IAR has directed REALTORS® to strictly follow the travel and social distancing guidelines. The main points of those requirements are:
In addition to Indianapolis Association of Realtors®, many title companies have sent out emails to REALTORS® addressing what practices they are adopting to ensure the safety of clients and staff. Offices are asking only those essential to executing the appropriate documents attend the closings. To practice safe social distancing, they have started putting the parties involved in separate meeting rooms, or allowing documentations to be signed in private vehicles with the assistance of representatives assisting via phone. They are even allowing REALTORS® to not physically attend the appointment but asking them to conference call on their client's private cell phone.
Stocked up on sanitary gel, and appropriate cleaners to sanitize conference areas, offices are doing their absolute best to keep clients safe during these important transactions. Some locations that previously offered complimentary snack and beverage services have suspended such services and now offer complimentary vinyl gloves, as well as pens provided are thrown away after closing.
Remote closings may be a thing of the past for a while as title companies want to protect their employees as well as clients. Many locations have closed their doors and only offer appointments at set offices.
ShowingTime, the scheduling appointment center responsible for communicating with thousands of REALTORS® and listings, has suggested that appointments do not overlap to ensure proper social distancing. If you are viewing a home or have a home available for showing, we suggest using some safety precautions to assist in protecting both buyer and seller.
When viewing a listing take off shoes or wear booties if provided, wear vinyl gloves if possible or make sure that you have hand sanitizer available, do not use private restrooms, and follow the general guidelines of not touching your face.
For sellers, have hand santizer and shoe covers available if possible. After a showing wipe down counter tops with anti bacterial wipes, use disinfectant spray or wipes on door handles, faucet handles, and handrails.
It is essential to our economy that we keep people moving in the most safe and responsible manner possible. In the midst of a global pandemic, real estate service practices have changed in effort to provide the best care possible for our clients and ourselves.