Skip to main content

California Counties' COVID-19 Real Estate Order Will Kill the Industry and Financially Ruin Countless Home Sellers; Incredibly, It Doesn’t Permit Showings of Occupied Homes!

Supermarket operators each day open their doors to hundreds of customers who aren’t wearing masks and gloves. You see them each time you shop. Nobody suggests markets should prevent customers from entering the store because of COVID-19.

But under Sacramento County's (and numerous other counties') order to the real estate industry, NOBODY can enter a house for sale unless it’s “permanently vacated.”

Here are the Sacramento County COVID-19 Update Guidelines (as of April 20, 2020):

“In Sacramento County, all showings must be done ONLY in permanently vacated houses.”

That is an over-reach and can’t possibly be allowed to stand. 

How many home buyers will pull the trigger without walking through and inspecting the house?

This "order” potentially can strangle the real estate market and drive furloughed and unemployed sellers into foreclosure when they can’t find people willing to buy their house sight unseen.

Reasonable Guidelines

Sacramento County and the many other counties using this language must scrap this guideline and allow home showings based on the sensible bullet points on the Sacramento Association of Realtor's recommendations page, linked above.

They include this one:

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.

Those are reasonable conditions and offer infinitely more safety for buyers and sellers than the non-existent rules for entering supermarkets. 

CHORE's only suggestion: Prospective buyers and their real estate agents should supply their own masks rather than the current wording “if one is made available.”

Get smart, California counties. Your order to limit showings to “permanently vacated houses” is an over-reach and makes no sense whatsoever.

Delete that bullet point and allow the industry to resume sensible operations that benefit both sellers and buyers -- and California's economy!


Soothsayer said…
Thank you for your communication. I will try to correct your misunderstanding of this matter.

This is not a recommendation of our Association. It is an Order from the Sacramento County Health Department. We are working with them constantly to try to modify policy as appropriate. We have no authority to recommend that anyone disregard a lawful Order of Sacramento County. We do have a duty to advise our Members on what the law requires of them and that is what we consistently try to do.

Dave Tanner, CEO, Sacramento Association of REALTORS(R).
Doug Carlson said…
I've exchanged several emails with Dave Tanner, CEO of the Sacramento Association of Realtors, and appreciate his help in clarifying where the "fault" lies. I think the buck stops on Governor Newsom's desk. His Department of Public Health is the key agency in this state when it comes to advising local governments on best practices. Refusing entry into homes where owners still live essential dooms that home to a non-sale. Mr. Tanner recommends taking this fight to the Sacramento County Board of Health and the County Board of Supervisors. It's doubtful the Supervisors have thought through the unintended consequences. Meanwhile, we can walk through our local Safeway and Raley's supermarkets and avoid massless and gloveless shoppers. This picture is seriously flawed.

Popular posts from this blog

This is Your CHORE if You Choose to Accept It

CHORE stands for the title of this new blog: 
 Citizens Helping Officials Respond to Emergencies.

Specifically, the focus is helping officials in Hawaii respond to emergencies such as the one we just had -- the two earthquakes (6.7 and 6.0 on the scale) that struck the islands on Sunday, October 15, 2006.

"Help" is the operable concept. I get the feeling -- based on news coverage of officialdom's emergency response -- that some good old-fashioned idea mongering and suggestions might help improve communications to our population during and after emergencies.

You be the judge after reading this report in The Honolulu Advertiser today, headlined: "Debate begins on delay of news"

My reaction to that story is that our Civil Defense officials, elected government leaders and broadcast media need to communicate more, not less. Comments by officials in this story suggest a mindset to not tell the population too much for fear the messages might be misunderstood.

My thoughts…

COVID-19’s ‘Patton’ Advises Flexibility in Fighting this War; CHORE Suggests Going Further and ‘Breaking the Rules’ when Necessary To Get the Job Done

Oroville Dam's broken spillway in February 2017

Citizens Helping Officials Respond to Emergencies (CHORE) is adding Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) to the list of emergencies we’ve examined since CHORE was launched nearly 14 years ago
CHORE’S goal has always been improved emergency communications, and its recommendations stem from the writer’s personal experience as a five-decade communicator. We’ve written here and elsewhere on communications failures during and after tsunamis, earthquakes, and wildfires and have used Lessons Learned to propose improvements.
Historians will fill books on the communications response to COVID-19 – who excelled, who didn’t, what worked, what didn’t. Most commentators seem to agree that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is COVID-19’s “Patton.” His daily briefings are been masterful. Alas, nobody has yet emerged as this illness’s “Eisenhower.”
Break the ‘Rules’
Gov. Cuomo’s has been urging flexibility in governments’ response to the virus crisis. That’s good…