On May 1st, Governor Inslee announced an extension of the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order (the “Order”) and introduced a four-phased approach to re-open business in Washington. All counties start in Phase 1 and will be admitted into Phase 2 by the Governor, based on epidemiological and other indications specific to each county.

On May 19th, in cooperation with Washington Realtors, Governor Inslee announced modifications to the Order for real estate activities in counties that have been approved for Phase 2 re-opening, provided specific protocols are followed. The modifications for Phase 2 include:

  • Real estate firms may open their offices in a limited fashion;
  • Commercial brokers can engage in the same in-person services as residential brokers;
  • Three persons (as opposed to two persons) are allowed on site for permitted in-person real estate activities for both residential and commercial brokerage (for both improved and unimproved property); and
  • Sign installers may install real estate signs.

For both Phase 1 and Phase 2 in-person real estate activities, real estate brokers and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, stagers, etc.) must wear cloth face coverings and should encourage clients and customers to do the same.

Public and broker open houses and similar invitations to view a property without an appointment are not permitted in Phase 1 or Phase 2. Only previews and showings by appointment are allowed. Brokers must adhere to the “phase” protocols for the county where the property is located, regardless of the location of the broker’s office or home. Brokers conducting real estate activities in a Phase 1 county, must continue to abide by the Phase 1 protocols, which include only allowing two persons in a property, including the broker, at one time.

A complete list of County Phases can be found here.