C.A.R. Best Practices Guidelines
Wednesday, Apr 1, 2020 @ 02:37 PM

These guidelines reflect our understanding of Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home order issued March 19, as updated by the “Advisory Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response” from March 28, 2020, which expressly includes residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, as essential services.


Check Your City or County for More Restrictive Local Shelter-In-Place Orders.


If a city or county in which you do your business activity has an order with a more restrictive standard regarding what qualifies as an essential service, or more restrictions on activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee. If there is a more restrictive local order, it must still be followed. That order may prevent or limit your ability to conduct real estate activity.


What are the recommended best practices that must be followed in all circumstances? Click here for full list of Best Practices.


  • Agents should read and understand the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to protect yourself. This is critically important!
  • Showings should be done virtually, if at all possible.
  • All activities should be completed electronically, if at all possible.
  • Sellers are to be advised that they should not be present within a dwelling at the same time as other individuals. Sellers are to be advised that they may remain on the property or in the common area of an HOA but not in the dwelling unit itself while agents, buyers, inspectors or others are viewing it.
  • Any persons on the property must agree to adhere strictly to the social distancing guidelines at all times by remaining at least six feet apart per the recommendations established by the CDC.
  • Any person entering a property shall provide by declaration that to the best of their knowledge, they are not currently ill with a cold or flu; do not have a fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, or exhibit other COVID-19 symptoms; have not been in contact with a person with COVID-19; and will adhere to and follow all precautions required for viewing the property at all times.
  • All persons visiting a property will agree to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer prior to entry, and to wear disposable rubber gloves and a protective face mask, if one is made available. In addition, sellers must disclose to all persons who enter the property if the seller is currently ill with a cold, flu or COVID-19 itself, or has a fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms, or has been in contact with a person with COVID-19. Further, if anyone who enters the property is later diagnosed with COVID-19, the person who is diagnosed must immediately inform the listing agent, who will then make best efforts to inform everyone who entered the property after the person diagnosed, of that fact.
  • Sellers and buyers must be expressly made aware of the risks of showing and visiting properties: that it may be dangerous or unsafe and could expose them or others to coronavirus (COVID-19). Sellers and buyers must be advised of their responsibilities pertaining to COVID-19 protocols regarding social distancing and other CDC guidelines.
  • To the extent possible, the use of various third-party services providers for non-essential services must be avoided and, where unavoidable, the providers must agree to sign an agreement to follow CDC guidelines.
  • Brokers should consider extending listings and putting a hold on marketing activities or other accommodations for those who, for health or other reasons connected to the COVID-19 virus, wish to stop actively marketing their property for the duration of the governor’s stay-at-home order.
  • Communications with clients should be done via electronic means or by telephone. In person conversations should be minimized unless absolutely necessary.


Best practices related to entering a seller’s property:

  • Listing agents should not leave brochures and flyers in the property but instead upload them to the MLS.
  • All showings are to be held by appointment only.
  • Discourage anyone who does not need to view the property from attending a showing.
  • Agents conducting the showing should meet clients at the property and not drive the client to the property, so as to minimize risk. Information relevant for the showing should be provided in advance to the clients electronically.
  • Consider limiting in-person, non-virtual showings to “serious” potential buyers, who are those who have provided verifications of funds and lender prequalification letters to show they are able to purchase the property that is the subject of the showing.
  • If using a lockbox, be sure to disinfect the key, the box, and the doorknob prior to utilizing.
  • If the size of the residential unit makes it difficult to maintain the six-foot distance for all parties attending the showing, individuals may need to wait outside and come in the property one at a time, at all times maintaining proper social distance.
  • Bring your own sanitizers, and gloves — don’t rely on others to bring them. If hand sanitizers are unavailable, liquid hand soap for hand washing should be made available.
  • Follow suggestions in the CDC’s Cleaning & Disinfecting Guide and provide this information to your sellers, advising them to disinfect the property according to those guidelines after the showing is complete. 



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