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Last Updated 5/11/2020

Representing buyers? Follow these 12 steps to ensure a smooth process during Shelter in Place.

1) Business Development/Prospecting
First, reach out to your sphere of influence. Be sure to show empathy and care. You are there for them, and not just for real estate. You can still market digitally, by direct mail, or via phone, text or email. Become the COVID-19 market expert.

2) Initial Consultation
Can be done virtually, via Zoom, Google Meet, WebEx, Facetime etc. It’s good to be familiar with multiple platforms so you can communicate with your client in their preferred format. This is a great opportunity to build rapport with the client. Determine needs and wants. Provide an overview of the process and market conditions.

3) Loan Pre-Approval
Can be done virtually, ask a lender to get a COMPLETE underwritten approval. This takes longer but is well worth the effort. Update your prequalifications on a more frequent basis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4) Home Shopping
Virtual Showings only unless a virtual showing is not feasible, then you may hold a private showing with no more than two people at a time that are sheltering in the same household. If occupied, all occupants must leave the property before it can be shown. Buyer Agents and the Buyers should each sign the C.A.R. Form PEAD (Property Viewing Advisory Disclosure) for each property they are showing and send a copy of the signed forms to the Listing Agent on the date of the showing.

5) Make an Offer
Offers can be submitted virtually. Agents can present via Zoom, etc. Negotiate with the SIP in mind. Discuss timelines with the lender to understand what can and can’t be done.

6) Open Escrow
Escrow officer will order a Preliminary Title Report and send copies to both parties. Buyer funds are deposited into an escrow account.

7) Inspections and Property Condition Review
Review seller disclosures and complete your own set of inspections: property, roof, pest, etc.

8) Loan Underwriting and Appraisal
Underwriter reviews files and appraisals are ordered. Some lenders are using desktop or external view appraisals while in SIP.

9) Remove Contingencies
After property inspections and loan documentation confirmation are approved, contingencies are removed.

10) Final Review
During SIP, you should make every effort to do this virtually. If you are not able to do it virtually, you are allowed to do a final walkthrough with two people at a time that are sheltering in the same household at a time when the occupant is not present in the residence.

11) Sign Off and Loan Funding
Virtually sign off documents. Check with your lender if an out of state e-notary would be acceptable.

12) Record/Transfer Title and Close Escrow
Deed will be e-recorded in Santa Clara County. Expect some delays in processing.

 

Have a listing? Check out our 8 Simple Steps for Listing During Shelter in Place.

We also recommend visiting our Transaction Resource Center to stay up-to-date with all the latest news that is affecting your business.

Last Updated 5/11/2020

Although the current Shelter in Place order in Santa Clara County has made completing a real estate transaction more challenging, there are still deals occurring. The steps involved in these deals have just changed.  Here are 8 steps to follow when listing a property.

1) Business Development/Prospecting
First, reach out to your past clients and sphere of influence. Be sure to show empathy and care. You are there for them, and not just for real estate. You can still market digitally, by direct mail, or via phone, text or email. Many will want to know how the real estate market is doing, whether it is a good time to buy or sell, and how this pandemic is affecting real estate values. Study the market statistics and be prepared to provide factual information.

2) Listing Appointment
Can be done virtually, via Zoom, Google Meet, WebEx, Facetime etc. Make your presentation just as you normally would, share your screen or email your presentation to them.

3) Property Preparation
Discuss with your sellers about decluttering. Consider having your listing virtually staged. As of May 4, traditional stagers are allowed to operate in Santa Clara County.

4) Property Marketing
Yard signs may not include fliers. There are no in-person Open Houses under any circumstances. Virtual Open Houses are permitted and MLSListings has provided a new category to promote your Virtual Open House. Record a virtual walkthrough with the seller. Have the seller record with their phone while you ask them questions about their home. No one shows a home better and can emphasize features better than the seller! A single photographer or videographer is permitted to visit the property once to take photographs and/or video. This should be done at a time when the occupant is not present in the residence.

5) Showings
Showings should be done virtually if at all possible. If you have a qualified buyer that wants to see a house, and a virtual showing is not feasible, then you may hold a private showing with no more than two people at a time that are sheltering in the same household. If occupied, all occupants must leave the property before it can be shown. All showings should be by Appointment Only to control access. If the Listing Agent is not the one providing access, the SUPRA lockbox should be used with the CBS (call before showing) feature and is recommended to control access. Buyer Agents and the Buyers should each sign the C.A.R. Form PEAD (Property Viewing Advisory Disclosure) for each property they are showing and send a copy of the signed forms to the Listing Agent on the date of the showing.

6) Offers and Negotiation
Offers can be submitted electronically. Agents can present offers via Zoom etc. Negotiate for timelines with the SIP in mind. Discuss timelines with the lender to understand what can and can’t be done.

7) Under Contract
Monitor your timelines. If issues arise then compete the appropriate C.A.R. Forms.

8) Close
Title and Escrow companies are Essential Services and closings and recordings are still taking place, but on a more limited schedule. Notaries are working to sign off clients.

 

Representing buyers? Check out our 12 Simple Steps to Represent Buyers During Shelter in Place.

We also recommend visiting our Transaction Resource Center to stay up-to-date with all the latest news that is affecting your business.

On May 7th the SCCAOR Advocacy team was able to establish that in Santa Clara County, property staging is now allowed to enable a real estate transaction. Staging companies have been deemed a “service provider that enable real estate transactions.” The same guidelines previously released for photographers, inspectors, and appraisers applies for staging companies as well. Service professionals are allowed to enter the residence alone, when the residents and listing agent are not present.

This new classification for staging companies has been confirmed with the County of Santa Clara Legal Department.

The official language of the new Shelter in Place Ordinance is included below.

“Commercial as well as residential real estate transactions are allowed to fully resume, but with continued restrictions on in-person viewings and appointments.

Service providers that enable real estate transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in person visits are not allowed when the occupant is present in the residence)”

Open houses are still not permitted under any circumstances. Private showings need to be scheduled by appointment and are permitted if a virtual tour is not feasible.

You can read the full updated Shelter in Place Order on the County’s website.

SCCAOR and SILVAR worked collaboratively to clarify language in the County Shelter in Place Ordinance surrounding private showings. Previously private showings and walk-throughs were not allowed when an occupant was living in the residence. We are pleased to announce the County Shelter in Place Ordinance has been amended to read as follows:

Service providers that enable real estate transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other real estate viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in-person visits are not allowed when an occupant is present in a residence

With this language change, private showings and walk-throughs can now occur on properties when the occupant has left the residence.

These new guidelines shall become effective at 11:59 p.m. on May 3, 2020 and will continue to be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2020.

The same protocol applies for photographers, appraisers and inspectors entering the property.

You can read the full updated Shelter in Place Order on the County’s website.

REALTORS® can now apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) through the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Here are three tips from SCCAOR Member Richard Calhoun who applied successfully on Tuesday, April 28th:

1) Hand type in all entries. Text that is copied and pasted might get rejected in many of the sections of the application.

2) REALTORS® type of work is “Salespersons”. It appears that the capital “S” and the “s” at the end of the word are both required to avoid an error message.

3) For Annual Income, do not use “$” or any commas.  You do need to include the decimal point and cents.

This whole process should take about 20 minutes to complete.

The fastest way to apply for benefits is through the  “UI Online” website.

You can also apply for PUA by phone, mail, or fax. Click here to learn more

Learn more about the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance on the EDD website

All REALTORS® and affiliates that will be operating as an Essential Business during Shelter-in-place needs to prepare a “Social Distancing Protocol” for each property in Santa Clara County that will be listed or have any projects completed at it. It is not required that the protocol is posted on each property, but it is encouraged. All listing agents and service professionals entering the property should keep a completed Social Distancing Protocol on their person.

Remember: You may not host an open house. All showings should be done virtually if at all possible.

If a private showing must occur:

  • Only a single REALTOR® and a maximum of two others from the same household can be in the house at any time. The occupants of residence must not be present before any private showing can occur.
  • Please download a copy of the Social Distancing Protocol form by clicking the button below.
  • A copy of this form should also be provided to each employee performing work at the facility.  All Essential Businesses shall implement the Social Distancing Protocol and provide evidence of its implementation to any authority enforcing this Order upon demand.

 

C.A.R.’s Best Practice Guidelines are a good benchmark to practice safe real estate transactions. However, it is important to remember that the County Ordinance is stricter in certain areas and takes precedence. You can view a copy of the full Ordinance on the County’s website.

This video gives an overview of the form as it pertains to REALTORS®:

President Trump today signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ (CARES Act), a bipartisan stimulus bill to help Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic. SCCAOR would like to send a huge thank you to C.A.R. and NAR for all their lobbying efforts towards this bill. Their work helped ensure that small business owners, the self-employed and independent contractors were included in the federal response to this national crisis. This package includes forgivable SBA loans for independent contractors as well as Pandemic Unemployment assistance.

For more information on how to access benefits included in the CARES Act, see C.A.R.’s FAQs on Financial Resources for REALTORS® and Financial Resources for Brokers.

The recent “Shelter in Place” Order in Santa Clara County will have a significant impact on the way you will conduct your business in the coming weeks.

We’ve put together a Transaction Resource Center to provide you with current updates, frequently asked questions, and additional resources to help you better understand how the current changes will affect how you do business.

We will continue monitoring the situation and will be updating this page as new information is announced. The Transaction Resource Center also has a form where you can submit additional questions that are not currently included on the site.

 

In response to the “shelter in place” restrictions recently announced by the Health Officer of the County of Santa Clara, we will be temporarily closing our offices in both San Jose and Gilroy and our staff will be working remotely until April 7th. These office closures will go into effect on Tuesday, March 17th. There are several ways that you can get in touch with us if you have any membership related issues or questions:

Additionally, SCCAOR will be canceling all broker tours until April 7th. We also suggest you seek the advice of your broker and consider the wishes of your clients in how to market their properties at this time.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available. We understand that this can be a very stressful time for you and we want to be available as a resource for you and your business during these trying times.

A Message from SCCAOR President Sandy Jamison:

As concerns over COVID-19 continue, SCCAOR Leadership would like to assure you that we are taking prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of our members and staff.

Effective immediately, we are pausing all SCCAOR Tour & Marketing meetings. While these meetings are postponed until further notice, the actual tours will still be happening. We urge everyone who puts their house on tour to practice all health and safety measures in order to contain this virus. We will also be canceling all larger events taking place in our office, including the Brunch n Learn event that was scheduled for March 20. The California Association of REALTORS® has canceled their Legislative Day event in Sacramento that was scheduled for April 28.

The SCCAOR office is currently open to serve you at both our San Jose and Gilroy locations during regular business hours. If you need membership assistance and prefer not to come into the office, you can reach us by phone (408-445-8500), email (membership@sccaor.com), or through our online chat. And as a reminder, you can purchase real estate products from our store’s website and we will gladly ship them to you.

We’ve also taken several steps to ensure a clean environment in our offices. We are wiping down desks and other high touch areas throughout the day with disinfecting wipes. We’ve removed chairs and spread out the tables in our training room to provide ample social distancing between members and these rooms are deep cleaned by our janitorial staff each night. Our staff is also currently exploring options for how we can continue to bring educational content and other services in a virtual environment.

NAR has recently released “A Guide for REALTORS®” on their website with useful information regarding how this may impact the real estate industry and additional precautions you can take to minimize the risk of infection.

Our goal is to be nimble and responsive to your member needs during this health crisis. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will make further announcements as needed to keep you well informed.

Sincerely,

Sandy Jamison
SCCAOR President