UPDATE: King County’s modified Phase 1 rules for Real Estate
Today, King County petitioned the State of Washington for modified Phase 1 operating rules, under the Governor’s plan for re-opening businesses. Friday, June 5, is the earliest date the State is expected to approve King County’s plan for re-opening, based on the close communication between the County and the State on this issue.
The following rules have not yet been approved by the State. Here is a brief overview of King County’s proposal for modified Phase 1 real estate activities.
Brokerage office operations
Real estate offices may open with a restriction on the number of brokers/staff present (25% of occupancy) and the total time allowed to meet with clients (30 minutes). King County’s application to the State contains the following language specific to real estate: “All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance with the exception that at no time may a building’s occupancy be higher than 25% and indoor services are limited to 30 minutes.” (**Real estate, professional services, and in-store retail businesses will be directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to less than 30 minutes. At no time may face to face interactions last longer than 30 minutes.)
Keep in mind that all other Phase 2 rules for personal protection and safe distancing remain in effect.
Showings with clients
King County’s application specifies that real estate activities “may operate under Phase 2 guidance”. This means that a broker may escort two other individuals together on any property tour. So the rule of two now goes to the rule of three. The broker and two other individuals may tour a property together, observing social distancing protocols.
Commercial real estate
The County’s application will allow Commercial real estate to operate under the same rules as residential real estate, that is, under Phase 2 guidance.
Assuming COVID-19 activity does not worsen during two weeks of modified Phase 1, King County will seek state approval to move to Phase 2.
Throughout the re-opening review process, Seattle King County REALTORS® has advocated for consistency of rules for real estate brokers who operate throughout the Puget Sound region. We believe this reduces confusion and allows the continued safe practice for real estate for our brokers and their clients. See our letter to King County here .