On Friday, May 1st Governor Inslee announced an extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order to May 31st and laid out a phased approach to re-opening the State economy. Phase 1 begins Tuesday, May 5th. Please note that this does not affect the modifications that were made to the original Stay Home, Stay Healthy order that allow certain real estate activities to take place.
On Monday, May 4th, the Governor’s Office published a “Safe Start Washington” plan that provides additional details on the phased approach to reopening Washington. This newly released document provides some good information on what is required of businesses to safely reopen and can be viewed below.
Phase 2 businesses will include all other real estate activity including commercial real estate, the re-opening of real estate offices, and services such as sign installation. Phase 2 also allows gatherings outside your residence for up to five people, which presumably would apply to parts of the real estate transaction such as showings, appraisals notarizations, etc. The Governor’s phased-in plan will apply in counties that have been harder hit by COVID-19. The 10 counties that have not been as impacted by the virus will be allowed to apply for waivers that will let them open up faster (see KING5 story for summary).
Although it is not yet clear when Phase 2 will begin, Washington REALTORS® will be in constant dialog to make our case for the earliest possible start date that is consistent with maintaining public health as the number one priority. Washington REALTORS® will also continue urging the Governor’s office to approve additional, and safe, modifications to allow brokers to more fully meet the needs of their clients.