Follow this link to the Massachusetts Real Estate Board re Covid 19.
Earlier today, (03/31/2020) Governor Baker made two important announcements concerning real estate
Real Estate as an Essential Business
The essential business list has been updated and now includes residential and commercial real estate. This means that in addition to continuing regular practice within current health and safety guidelines, Realtors® may open their brick and mortar offices on April 1 to workers, clients, and the general public. MAR urges members to exercise extreme caution in doing so and to continue practicing remotely as much as possible. Please note that just because you CAN open your business office on April 1, does not mean that you HAVE to open and you CAN remain practicing remotely.
The revised business list also permits the opening of brick-and-mortar offices for real estate support services including those providing title searches, notarization, and recording services.
The Department of Public Health issued guidance for short-term rentals, restricting the rental of properties for 31-days or less to COVID-19 support until May 4 (detailed below). The guidance expressly prohibits rentals of 31-days or less for leisure and vacation uses during that period, however, persons occupying short-term rentals as of March 31 may remain until the end of their originally scheduled term. Extensions are not permitted. The guidance does not impact leases longer than 31-days or stays after May 4, but be aware that this date can be extended.
If you have a lease in place for a short-term rental (31-days or less) beginning between March 31 and May 4, you may not provide occupancy. Follow the terms of your lease and consult with your attorney as needed to best address this issue with your clients. If using the MAR short-term rental lease, you will need to refund prorated rent until you are able to deliver occupancy. If you used a hosting platform for a rental during this period, review their service terms as many have issued their own guidance on how they will assist clients for bookings impacted by the pandemic.
The guidance permits the lease of short-term rentals for only the following uses:
- Housing for health care workers, first responders and essential COVID-19 essential workers.
- Housing for out-of-state workers engaged in transportation of materials, logistics, and construction associated with the delivery of health-related services, such as development of COVID-19 alternative care sites.
- Housing for vulnerable populations.
- Housing for Massachusetts residents who are self-isolating or self-quarantining or the families or roommates of individuals who are self-isolating or self-quarantining for only as long as necessary to complete the period of self-isolation or self-quarantine.
- Housing for individuals receiving long-term, specialized medical care from a physician located in Massachusetts and for accompanying family members.
- Housing when required by extenuating circumstances such as fire or casualty to ensure the care and safety of Massachusetts residents and to accommodate other persons unable to return to their own homes due to flight cancellations, border closures, or other direct and material constraints on travel.
Declaration of Real Estate as an Essential Activity
Updated March 25, 2020
The Baker Administration issued guidance for Realtors® during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Thank you for your patience as we worked toward formal guidance from the state.
Showings and open houses are permitted and are subject to Governor Baker’s order limiting gatherings to ten or fewer people. If open houses are held, they must be limited to ten people at a time and social distancing must be enforced. Additionally, MAR recommends the use of hand sanitizer and thorough and frequent cleanings.
Although allowed, MAR strongly encourages members NOT to host open houses in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Real estate closings can continue, with social distancing for any in-person transactions.
Real estate has not been deemed “essential”, meetings with clients and prospective clients cannot take place at a real estate brokerages’ physical (bricks and mortar) offices but may take place with social distancing or remotely by phone or video.
Click HERE to view the FAQ issued by the Baker Administration.
Please continue to practice social distancing, remote working, wash your hands and be safe
In NH they have amended Real Estate as an essential business as well. Some changes from regular day to business in NH are as follows: ( as of 03/27/2020 )
Real Estate Transactions/Agents/Brokers
- Meetings between brokers/agents and clients (or prospective clients) cannot take place at a real estate brokerages’ physical offices but may take place with social distancing or remotely by phone, video or other electronic means.
- Showings of homes or other properties may take place by appointment and with appropriate social distancing measures.
- Real estate closings can continue, either through remote means or with social distancing for any in-person transactions.
- Property inspections and appraisals may continue with appropriate social distancing.
- Open houses are not permitted.
For more info re Covid 19 in NH , click here for our local Real estate board for more info.