Lauren Bunting

(April 17, 2020) During the “Stay at Home Order” issued by Gov. Larry Hogan, real estate is affected, but definitely not halted.

The Maryland Realtors issued guidance for all brokerages throughout the state to follow and stated providing real estate services has been deemed essential in Maryland, permitting brokerages to conduct business during this time.

They further said with that right comes the responsibility of doing so in a safe manner.

The following guidelines were provided to the real estate industry with instructions to do business in a way that is mindful of the unique risks we are all facing and to limit personal interactions to the greatest extent possible and engage in-person only when necessary:

• In-person activities must be by appointment only.

• No more than three people, including the agent, may be at a property at any one time.

• Those three persons must strictly follow physical distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.

Real estate licensees who strictly follow the above protocols are permitted to engage in the following in-person activities related to the purchase and sale of homes:

• Conduct listing presentations, take property photos, and create virtual tours for new listings.

• Facilitate signing of contract documents.

• Preview and show listings by appointment only.

• Facilitate photography/videography, inspections, appraisals, buyer “walk-throughs,” and key delivery.

All other real estate brokerage services are to be limited to services that can be provided remotely.

Like most sectors of business, the real estate market is affected and not what it should be for what was showing to be a strong spring season.

But the market recap provided by the Bright MLS system shows that over the past seven days in Worcester and Wicomico counties, we’ve had some decent activity: Coming Soon - 5; New Actives - 43; Back to Active - 25; Price Decrease - 39; Active Under Contract - 16; Pendings - 39; Closed - 64; and, Temporarily Off Market - 10.

– Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s International Realty in Ocean City.

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