On October 6, Colorado Governor Jared Polis extended many previously issued executive orders related to COVID-19 safety. Since the Colorado Division of Real Estate “continues to receive complaints concerning real estate brokers not following state and county-issued guidance regarding COVID-19 restrictions when performing real estate activities,” we’ve decided to compile some resources for you so you can continue to work safely.
Here’s a list of safety resources that you can look at in their entirety when you have the time:
- Real Estate Brokers & Services – Safer at Home Guidance and Complete FAQ
- Executive Order D 2020-213
- Safer at Home: Field Services and Real Estate Web Page
If you only have a few minutes, take a look at this shortened version of the official Colorado Real Estate Industry COVID-19 FAQ page. And remember, we offer online continuing education courses that can be completed anytime on any internet-enabled device! Click here to view our our Colorado state-approved course packages!
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Real Estate Services
Question: What does the Governor’s mask ordinance mean for my place of business?
Answer: As of July 16, 2020, Executive Order D 2020 038 mandates that every Coloradan older than 10 wear a mask or a face covering in all indoor public spaces, unless that individual has a medical condition where wearing a mask would put them at risk. It is important to note that wearing a mask properly means that it covers both your nose and mouth. Wearing a mask under your nose or chin is ineffective.
If a business or professional does not comply with the order, they are at risk of losing their license. Customers who do not comply with the order are violating a Colorado law and are subject to civil or criminal penalties.
Question: Are real estate open houses allowed?
Answer: Yes, real estate open houses are allowed under this amended June 30, 2020 Order, however, all open houses must strictly follow the Indoor Event requirements in Section I.H.4 of this Order. The Colorado Department of Health & Environment has listed on its website the Indoor Event requirements.
Question: Who is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting occupied properties between showings?
Answer: Both Seller’s Brokers and Buyer’s Brokers are considered “Field Services” workers under the Public Health Order 20-28 and share responsibility to make sure cleaning and disinfection occur between showings.
Seller’s Brokers need to make arrangements with any occupants to clean and disinfect between showings. Likewise, Buyer’s Brokers need to clean and disinfect behind their buyers while showing the property.
Question: Can a buyer require a seller to deep clean a property prior to closing?
Answer: Yes, so long as this is part of the terms of the contract between the buyer and seller.
Question: Who should be providing gloves and masks for showings?
Answer: Due to the shortage of personal protective equipment, it is recommended that brokers encourage buyers to bring their own masks and gloves. Both Buyer’s Brokers and Seller’s Brokers are encouraged to attempt to provide masks and gloves. However, if buyers show up to meet a Buyer’s Broker without masks and gloves, the Buyer’s Broker must either: 1) provide masks and gloves; 2) check to see if the Seller’s Broker has provided masks and gloves; or 3) tell the buyers they will need to reschedule the showing until the buyers have masks and gloves.
Question: Should the Buyer’s Broker ask the buyer if they have symptoms or have come into contact with known positive cases of COVID-19?
Answer: Best practice is for Buyer’s Brokers to ask buyers they are working with if they have symptoms or have come into contact with known positive cases of COVID-19. If the answer is yes, at a minimum, the Buyer’s Broker should tell Seller’s Brokers prior to scheduling a showing. The Seller may deny showings.
Question: Is it ok to have more than one potential buyer in the property at a time for a showing?
Answer: No. In order to prevent unnecessary contact, showings must be limited to only one buyer group (meaning a group of individuals from a currently shared household) at a time.
Question: Is there a limit to the number of buyers I can show the property to if they have all been quarantined together?
Answer: Under Public Health Order 20-28, gatherings are limited to 10 or less people. However, we STRONGLY encourage Buyer’s Brokers to limit the number of buyers they show the property to prior to executing a contract to only those buyers that will be signing a contract.
Additionally, sellers may impose other restrictions such as requiring buyers to be pre-qualified, limiting the number of buyers in the property or prohibiting showings until a contract is executed by both buyer and seller.
Question: Does the occupant need to leave the property for showings?
Answer: No. Occupants are permitted to remain in the property during all showings. However, occupants should wear masks and gloves and maintain six feet of distance from everyone while other people are in the property.
Question: Should Seller’s Brokers get waivers of liability from potential buyers before allowing the potential buyer to enter the property for a showing?
Answer: Brokers that have waivers of liability drafted by a Colorado licensed attorney are permitted to use them. Seller’s Brokers should consult with their Colorado licensed attorney regarding the risks or enforceability of such waivers. Additionally, Buyer’s Brokers must advise all buyers to have such waivers reviewed by legal counsel before allowing buyers to sign such waivers.
Question: Does a buyer have to see the property before they can make an offer?
Answer: No. All buyers, especially Vulnerable Individuals, should be encouraged to do as much research finding a property as they can virtually. This might include getting a contract signed by both buyer and seller prior to the buyer ever seeing the property. In these cases, the buyer may want to consider adding a contingency to the contract that the contract is contingent upon the buyer viewing and approving the property after the contract is signed.
Question: Does the seller have to allow showings?
Answer: No. Seller’s Brokers should explain to all sellers, especially Vulnerable Individuals, their options for selling their property without allowing or minimizing showings. This might include asking for pre-qualifications of buyers before allowing them to see the property or requiring buyers to make an acceptable offer that is signed by the seller before allowing anyone into the property.
Question: Can a buyer still sign a contract or deliver earnest money in person?
Answer: While clients can still sign contracts or deliver earnest money in person, brokerage firms are required to take measures to reduce or negate the need for paper and attempt to provide contactless payment options.
Question: Can a Broker still attend listing appointments in person?
Anwer: Yes. However, Brokers are required to wear a mask and gloves. Public Health Order 20-28 limits gatherings to 10 people or less. We strongly encourage Brokers to perform as many of their job duties remotely or virtually as possible.