Entering seller's property guidelines
The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® offers these Best Practices Guidelines.
- Update 4/29/2020: effective May 4th, private showings and walk-throughs can now occur on owner occupied properties when the occupant has left the residence. The same protocol applies for photographers, appraisers and inspectors entering the property.
- All showings are to be held by appointment only
- If possible, showings should be done virtually
- Prior to the showing appointment, each visitor should sign the C.A.R form ‘Property Viewing Advisory and Declaration (PEAD)'.
- Potential buyers should meet with their agent at the property. Agents should not drive their clients to the property
- Buyers should obtain seller’s permission to enter without the agent being physically present
- In-Person showings should be limited 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.
- Buyers should refrain from touching any surface during a showing.
- Only a single agent and no more than two other individuals are to be inside a home at the same time during a showing. If other persons are necessary for a showing, they should wait outside or in their vehicles to observe the social distance guidelines.
- Sellers should not be present within a house at the same time as other individuals. They may remain on the property or in the common area of an HOA but not in the property unit itself while agents, buyers, inspectors or others are viewing it.
- If a seller insists on remaining on the property, that seller is to agree to the terms and sign the declaration that is required for persons entering the property.
- 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
- Discussions after the showing with the seller or agent should be conducted through electronic means such as email, telephone, Zoom or FaceTime, rather than in person, as maintaining a conversation while adhering to the social distance guidelines is difficult.
- For HOAs, have the seller obtain a copy of any new rules that may govern showings of common areas or entry to the property.
If a city or county in which you do your business activity has a more restrictive local order, it must still be followed.
Whether you're a first-time home buyer in search of your dream home, a seller looking to downsize or an investor looking for a great opportunity, working with a dedicated real estate professional can make all the difference.
We deliver unmatched customer service, and our genuine desire to see your property goals come true makes us the go-to resource for all your real estate needs. For sellers, we take full advantage of Coldwell Banker's® marketing tools to ensure that your property is broadly promoted on a variety of channels, including major real estate websites, and our negotiation skills are second to none. For buyers, we effectively analyze the local market and target trends to help you find the perfect home at the right price.
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Frequently Asked Questions
I found a house I really like. Can I make an offer?
Yes. Any transaction with a willing buyer and seller can proceed and even close under the current conditions. All contractual requirements can be reviewed and signed digitally utilizing zipForm.
What if I am in contract and unable to close due to COVID-related causes?
Use C.A.R. Forms CVA and NUCC to work with the parties to record how they want to resolve any COVID-related closing issues. These forms allow the parties to extend a contingency, postpone the closing date, and, in the right circumstances, cancel, or enter into some other mutually acceptable result upon a documented COVID-related difficulty.
Can inspections still be performed within these restrictions?
Home inspection service providers and agent required visual inspections are permitted to continue, unless precluded by local law. If Buyers are reluctant to enter a property prior to close of escrow and want to waive a home or other inspection, buyer-side REALTORS® should document the decision on C.A.R. Form BIW, Buyer Inspection Waiver and the purchase agreement should be modified with a Contingency Removal, C.A.R. Form CR.
Will pending transactions be able to close and record?
Closings continue to take place, but you should talk to the lender or title or escrow company about how they are handling the signing of closing documents. Most county recorders are open for electronic recordings and if unavailable within your county, ask your lender about gap insurance to cover any delay in recording.
Can appraisers enter properties? Are virtual appraisals an option?
For most purchases, Desktop and Exterior-Only Appraisals are acceptable. In areas where allowed, appraisers can enter properties, if necessary, when both the appraiser and the seller are comfortable with the interior inspection. Some investors still require full interior inspections despite COVID-19.
How will we have no contact closings when most lenders require "wet" signatures?
Some lenders, like Guaranteed Rate Affinity, who has a joint venture with Coldwell Banker, have full online eClosing tools available. With these tools, the borrower is able to electronically sign the entire closing package. The borrower reviews the closing package and connects with a web-based notary for those documents typically considered "wet" signed. There are state, county and title insurer limitations so check with your Loan Officer.
Is there an option to sign deeds and notes electronically?
Yes, by utilizing these special eClose tools, like the one that Guaranteed Rate Affinity offers, the borrower is able to review all documents ahead of signing as well as electronically sign the entire closing package. The tool allows the borrower to electronically sign the majority of the documents, but then wet sign the mortgage and the note in a fraction of the time.
Is the notary still human contact?
Mobile notaries are following best practices to minimize time with borrowers utilizing gloves, face masks, and disposable pens. The "in person" signing can take place through a storm door, car window, and even from across a parking lot.