Gov. Wolf announces limited real estate transactions allowed to start statewide

Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Gov. Tom Wolf has announced that limited business in real estate may resume statewide immediately and has provided guidelines for operating.

This change allows more businesses and employees to operate as limited in-person activities were only allowed in yellow phase counties across the commonwealth.

The Governor’s Office says guidelines include requiring every person at a workspace, business location, or property, wear face masks, and that protocols must be in place if someone is exposed to Covid-19.

“[The real estate industry] impacts numerous types of businesses and Pennsylvania homebuyers who are in the process of, or considering, purchasing a home. It’s critical that these businesses, regardless of whether they are in red phase or yellow phase counties, strictly adhere to all appropriate guidelines and guidance,” Wolf said in a release.

In-person activities should be scheduled and limited to only a real estate agent and two people at a property during any given time while maintaining social distancing.

Remote notaries, powers of attorney, or document exchange is recommended to be done electronically during closings or settlements. In cases where that is not possible, the Governor’s Office says in-person meetings should be limited to required signatories and legal counsel or real estate agents.

The Governor’s Office also states that businesses and employees:

  • Provide sellers with safety information and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing properties
  • Utilize electronic marketing as much as possible
  • Provide all individuals at an in-person activity with a verbal health screening
  • Stagger scheduling of property showings
  • Avoid physical contact with the property by staging in advance to prevent the need for interaction with items like lights, interior doors, drapes, and blinds
  • Minimize time spent in the property by having discussions away from the property via remote mean

The governor also vetoed House Bill 2412 on Tuesday, which he believed did not offer enough safety protocols for the public during the health crisis and says the legislation would have restricted municipalities during property transfers.

His office said the bill would have eliminated a municipality’s ability to issue use and occupancy permits and conduct safety inspections, which are conditions of a property transfer. 

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