Bethlehem, April 29, 2020 − State Senator Lisa M. Boscola (D-Lehigh/Northampton) today introduced legislation that would exempt real estate work from Pennsylvania’s business closure order – if it complies with certain mitigation practices including Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
Her proposed bill has bipartisan support amongst its co-prime sponsors.
“As long as real estate workers adhere to social distancing and other mitigation practices, we need to get them back to work,” Boscola said. “Real estate is not only a critical component of our state’s economy, it is a basic necessity for Pennsylvanians.”
“Pennsylvania is not on the cutting edge. In fact, quite the opposite. Every one of our neighboring states allowed realtors to operate with CDC recommendations throughout the crisis. Pennsylvania needs to get the industry open again.”
Under the Boscola bill (Senate Bill 1135), real estate practices would be exempt from the governor’s closure dictate if:
1) Realtors fully comply with CDC guidelines;
2) Showings are only held after a buyer has viewed the property online and shows a serious interest;
3) The purchasers are the only people permitted to attend the showing;
4) Both the realtor and home buyer wear masks and stay six feet apart;
5) The realtor uses sanitary wipes for any doors or fixtures touched;
6) The seller is not home during the showing;
7) The documentation to facilitate the sale/lease is done electronically;
8) A home inspector may inspect the home alone, use Facetime or other video facilitation to communicate with the buyer, and must bring and use sanitary wipes for anything touched. The seller must vacate the property during the home inspection.
9) An appraiser only goes into the home once it is under contract and must also use sanitary wipes for any door handles. The seller must vacate the property for the appraiser.
10) Title companies must adhere to CDC guidelines with social distancing and masks. Sellers can have documents pre-signed and opt to not attend the closing.
11) Open houses or other public gatherings are banned.
12) Prior to showing a home, the realtor, seller and buyer all electronically sign disclosure statements indicating that they are not aware of being exposed to COVID-19.
“My legislation would help get realtors and their important industry back up and running,” Boscola said. “This can be effectively achieved along with precautionary efforts to continue our state’s successful Covid-19 mitigation effort.”
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