NYSAR Phase 2 Guidance for Real Estate Activity

NYSAR is providing the following sample guidance based upon information contained in the Interim Guidance Document issued by Empire State Development and the Department of Health. Brokers must review and affirm the Interim Guidance Document prior to implementing Phase 2 requirements. The Interim Guidance Document can be found here.

A summary document of the requirements can also be found here.

Brokers are responsible for making sure all associated licensees follow the requirements of the Interim Guidance Document.

NYSAR flyer with NYS DOS mandatory and recommended best practices can be found here.

Guidance to in-person contact with consumers

  • Brokers are encouraged, but not required, to conduct remote walkthroughs rather than in-person walkthroughs (e.g. recorded/live video), where possible.
  • Whenever possible, activities should be conducted remotely with consumers.
  • Whenever in-person contact occurs with a consumer, the licensee should be wearing an appropriate face covering and maintain social distancing.

Interaction with consumers

  • Licensees must limit in-person gatherings with consumers to the greatest extent possible and use other methods such as video or teleconferencing whenever possible. When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not possible, licensees should hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces and ensure that individuals maintain six feet of social distance between one another and wear appropriate face coverings.
  • Licensees should avoid driving in the same car with prospective tenants/buyers. If this cannot be avoided, face coverings must be worn by everyone in the vehicle and frequently touched areas of the vehicle should be cleaned and disinfected.

In-person showings

  • May only be conducted in unoccupied (if there is an occupant, they must not be present) and vacant property.
  • Licensee should limit the number of individuals viewing the property to the greatest extent possible.
  • Responsible parties must stagger showings in order to avoid the congregation of people outside and inside properties.
  • Licensees and consumers must wear an appropriate face covering at all times.
  • Gloves and shoe coverings can also be required by the owner or broker.
  • Brokers must provide appropriate face coverings to licensees.
  • Licensees should consider having a supply of appropriate face coverings with them in the event the buyer/seller does not have one.  Any party not wearing an appropriate face covering may not enter the property.
  • Licensees should not dispose of PPE at the property being shown.
  • Consumers should be instructed to only touch essential surfaces, such as the use of a handrail to go up or downstairs. Consumers should be instructed not to touch other areas or surfaces including cabinets, countertops, appliances, etc.
  • Licensees are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces such as doorknobs and handrails. As a best practice, licensees should disinfect every surface that was touched during a showing.
  • As a best practice, only one party should be in the property at a time. If more than one party is inside the property at the same time, 6 feet of distance must be maintained at all times between individuals, and face coverings must be worn (face coverings are already mandatory).
  • Licensees and buyers/tenants are encouraged not to bring young children or extraneous guests to property showings, when possible, or leave attended children outside.
  • Licensees should screen each seller/buyer/landlord/tenant prior to a showing. Licensees should discuss the use of the screening questionnaire with the seller/landlord and whether the seller/landlord requires potential buyers/tenants to answer the questions before being permitted access to the property. NYSAR strongly recommends that such screening be done remotely (phone, email, etc.). The following questions must be asked as part of the screening process:
    • Knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19,
    • Tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or
    • Has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
    • Require seller/lessor to disclose if they become symptomatic and/or they test positive for COVID-19 within 48 hours of the last visit to their property.
    • Require buyer/lessee to disclose if they become symptomatic and/or they test positive for COVID-19 within 48 hours of the last visit to a property.

Open Houses

Although the Guidance Documents permits open houses, it includes restrictions.

Responsible Parties must stagger showings in order to avoid the congregation of people outside and inside properties.

Responsible Parties should limit the number of individuals viewing a property at any one time. If multiple parties (from different households) arrive at the same time, Responsible Parties should encourage those in line to wait outside until their turn.

Licensees choosing to hold a traditional open house run the risk of multiple parties congregating outside the property waiting for their turn to view the property or attempting to enter the property while others are inside. Licensees should make every attempt to schedule showing times for an open house to avoid such issues.

Licensees should not dispose of PPE at the property where the open house is held.