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On May 13th, Governor Inslee announced that Washington will adopt new masking guidance as issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”). This guidance allows fully vaccinated people to no longer wear a face covering with certain limitations. The Department of Labor and Industries is working to provide guidance for businesses that choose to allow fully vaccinated people to not wear a face covering. Please look for updated information on this issue early next week.

Washington REALTORS® and the Northwest Multiple Listing Service have provided FAQ guidance. Please review the downloadable PDF for clarification on which activities are permitted and the protocols required for permitted activities.  

In addition, effective Tuesday, May 18th, every county in the state will be in Phase 3 of the “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” plan.

In Phase 3, the following protocols apply to the real estate industry:

  • Capacity for real estate offices, including guests, is limited to 50% or lower. Appointments are not required for clients to visit real estate offices. Remote meetings with clients are encouraged.
  • In-person brokerage activities at the property (showings, inspections, etc.) are permitted by appointment with no more than ten (10) people on site, in addition to the broker.
  • In-person open houses are permitted with no more than ten (10) people are on site, in addition to the broker.

As a reminder, the following protocols continue to apply to all in-person activities (previews, showings, listing appointments, inspections, walk-throughs, appraisals, etc.):

  • In-person activities must be by appointment only;
  • Face coverings are required to be worn at all times by real estate brokers, their clients, and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, stagers, etc.). Brokers may not provide services to any client who does not wear a face covering; and
  • Those persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.

Washington is moving toward a statewide June 30th reopening date and the full reopening could happen earlier if 70% or more of Washingtonians over the age of 16 initiate vaccination.  Northwest MLS and Washington REALTORS will publish updated information, including best practices for real estate brokers when the state fully reopens.

If you have questions on this, or any other real estate legal question, email The Legal Hotline is a Washington REALTOR® member-only benefit.

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