SCCBR COVID-19 Response

STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, STAY CONNECTED

SCCBR is committed to staying connected with our members and our community as a whole. In the real estate community, major changes have occurred which have had a huge impact on how REALTORS® may conduct business and best serve their clients, while adhering to the safest standards.
 
To view the latest press releases and executive orders issued by Governor Doug Ducey and to follow the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The Governor’s latest order announcement to limit capacity at restaurants comes in addition to recent action taken by the Governor to prohibit large gatherings, cease the issuance of new special event licenses and pause the operations of bars, gyms, movie theaters, waterparks and tubing rentals. 
 
Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order on March, 23 clarifying businesses and operations deemed “Essential Services” by the state for financial institutions, professional services, and critical trades such as lenders, appraisers, legal services, accounting services, insurance services, real estate services, title services, exterminators, and construction services.
 
Can Santa Cruz County REALTORS® show property? The answer is yes but in so doing, REALTORS® must lead by example, showing others how to conduct business while staying safe. REALTORS® should take precautions, follow their brokerage policy and the CDC guidelines. Legally, REALTORS® may continue to market properties, show properties, have listing appointments, hold open houses, and coordinate property inspections by appointment only, maintaining social distancing, and limiting the number of individuals in the property at any one time.
 
However, REALTORS® are encouraged to use technology to adhere to social distancing whenever possible. There are still sellers who need to sell, and lots of pent-up buyer demand. Santa Cruz County REALTORS® can serve their clients digitally, they can create virtual property tours and conduct video chats that allow buyers to see properties in a realistic way online. REALTORS® can also conduct virtual listing presentations with sellers and use electronic documents that are signed by buyers and sellers through platforms such as Authentisign to minimize in-person contact. 
 
Additionally, many other aspects of the real estate industry continue to occur without in-person contact, including documentation and closings. Other activities may also be managed remotely. Fannie Mae has also issued temporary guidance on appraisal requirements, including allowing desktop and exterior-only appraisals on many mortgage transactions for eligible mortgages through May 17, 2020. For updated COVID-19 guidelines you may contact our Affiliates.  
 
REALTORS® across the country have been wrestling with their own personal dilemma as they are striving to continue to be of service to their clients. The spirit of the Code of Ethics, to which all REALTORS® have sworn to uphold and by which we abide, offers clear guidance during these times:
 
"REALTORS® should recognize that the interests of the nation and its citizens require the highest and best use of the land and the widest distribution of land ownership. They require the creation of adequate housing, the building of functioning cities, the development of productive industries and farms, and the preservation of a healthful environment. Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves….”
 
Many people will be affected in the coming days. We are all in this together with the one unifying goal of minimizing the effects of this Novel Coronavirus. We as REALTORS® choose to do what is best for the nation and our communities. Let’s do everything possible to insure the “preservation of a healthful environment” – because that’s Who We R.
 
Call a Santa Cruz County REALTOR® today to find out how to buy or sell a property virtually, and with any questions or concerns. Our board office will remain closed to the public until further notice. However, you may call for an appointment at 520-377-9613. If you have been impacted by the pandemic and concerned about making your mortgage payment or paying your rent, seeking a small business loan, or applying for unemployment insurance, etc., we have compiled local, state, and national COVID-19 resources by visiting our website at sccazrealtor.com/coronavirus
 
Yvette M. Palmer
2020 & 2012 President
Santa Cruz County Board of REALTORS®