COVID-19: Broker, Agent, and Firm Health and Safety Suggestions

caronavirus illustration of virus makeup

March 19, 2020

As each day dealing with the coronavirus seems to bring new challenges for the real estate industry, there are positive steps brokers and agents can take to remain safe.

CRES and our risk management attorneys continue to analyze the situation and offer these suggestions:
  • Employing brokers and supervisors should develop a written policy on office procedures for dealing with Coronavirus-related matters.  
  • Any written Coronavirus policy should be distributed to all brokers and staff within the firm and included in the written office policy manual.  
  • The distribution and receipt of the Coronavirus policy by each broker should be documented in writing.
  • Brokers should have a personal work plan if you, your transaction coordinator, the title agent, or anyone else involved in the transaction becomes sick or is quarantined.  Brokers should have a plan in place that will allow clients to close on any pending transaction without delay.
  • Because brokers/agents work closely with members of the public and are in so many homes, you should consider yourself and your team at risk for exposure to the Coronavirus.  
  • Brokers/agents should get tested if you suspect you’ve been exposed.  Submitting to self-quarantine or avoiding going to the office, client meetings, presentations, or classes may be advisable to avoid exposing others until you’re certain that you’re not infected.  Be conscious of your fellow agents’ health. 
  • Brokers/agents who are infected should report to and cooperate with the health authorities, including identifying the people they came into contact with and the homes they entered.
  • Brokers/agents may want to meet buyers remotely instead of in person for the first meeting.  Brokers should trust their instincts and not meet in person any buyer or family members who may be sick.  The best advice to buyers may be that buyers should simply wait to start their home search.
  • Brokers/agents should carry hand sanitizer with you, in your cars, and in other convenient, accessible locations. 
  • Brokers/agents should suggest that potential buyers drive separately to showings or open houses.  
  • Brokers/agents should offer the clients hand sanitizer before entering and after exiting showings and open houses. 
  • Brokers/agents working in an office with others should disinfect their work areas and remove trash containing tissues, wipes, and similar types of waste products.  Wash hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and consider forgoing the customary handshake for the time being. 

Authors:
James M. Meseck | Attorney
Rachel E. Ryckman | Attorney
E. Catlynne Shadakofsky | Attorney

White and Steele, P.C.
600 17th Street, Suite 600N
Denver, Colorado 80202

DISCLAIMER: This article is a brief overview and survey of COVID-19 issues facing real estate professionals in general.  The article is designed and its purpose is to serve only as a general discussion of these issues.  This article does not constitute legal advice.  The reader should consult with a licensed, experienced attorney on any specific or general matter in the reader’s particular jurisdiction.  We hope that all real estate practitioners find this article to be a useful and practical tool in identifying COVID-19 issues. 

This blog/website is made available by CRES Insurance Services for educational purposes to give you general information and understanding of legal risks and insurance options, not to provide specific legal advice. This blog/website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. Claims examples are for illustrative purposes only. Read your policy for a complete description of what is covered and excluded.

Originally Published March 20, 2020

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