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Real Estate industry is open for business


Real estate professionals and all those associated with the industry were delighted to learn Gov. Tom Wolf recently lifted restrictions on the real estate business in Bucks County, with a number of guidelines.

Although non-essential businesses remain closed until June 5, when Bucks moves into the “yellow” stage of the state’s reopening plan, real estate is now allowed to begin in-person operations.

Under the new guidelines, a wide range of real estate professionals, including appraisers, notaries, title companies, settlement services, escrow officers, home inspectors, mortgage loan originators, processors and underwriters, are able to return to in-person work, according to the governor.

However, there are a number of provisions that must be followed in order to conduct such business.

Everyone involved in a transaction must wear a mask and separate transportation should be used to arrive at meetings. All business must be made by appointment and a record must be kept of all people present to allow for contact tracing. Only one real estate professional and two others can attend a meeting.

When it comes to showing homes, the state urges Realtors to hold them at least 30 minutes apart and ask people about their health. All light switches, door knobs and other touchable surfaces must be sanitized and there can be no food offered at open houses or other meetings.

In making the announcement, Wolf said, “There is a need for real estate personnel to protect themselves, their clients and family members when they visit a home or meet elsewhere to discuss a sale or rental.”

The guidance must be strictly followed, the governor said. Failure to do so could lead to disciplinary actions “up to and including suspension of licensure.”

In other announcements, the state issued guidance on summer camps and community pools in counties in the “yellow” and “green” stages.

Indoor and outdoor summer camp programs may open. While children are not required to wear masks, all staff members are. It’s recommended that kids be separated into groups for various activities, such as art and music. Staggered playground times are also suggested.

Public and community pools may open, however organized sports are permitted only in “green” counties. The state stressed that the guidance does not apply to public school-operated summer programs. Guidance on school reopening will come sometime later, officials said, and will be released by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

“We understand the need to secure childcare options as parents and caregivers return to work across the state,” Wolf said in a statement.

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