State reinstates stance banning home showings

A for sale sign is displayed in the front lawn of 172 Thompson Blvd, Watertown. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

The area’s real estate industry is back in business after the state deemed that its work is an essential business.

The Empire State Development Corp. on Wednesday clarified that residential and commercial showings, along with back office real estate work, appraisal services and home inspections are essential real estate functions and could start back up immediately.

The state halted Realtors from doing those functions because of the risks associated with the coronavirus outbreak.

Lance Evans, executive officer for the Jefferson-Lewis and St. Lawrence Board of Realtors, heard the news on Wednesday night that the state had a change in heart about the real estate industry.

“This is really good news because they really could not do most of their work,” he said.

With the change, Realtors can show houses but must practice social distancing requirements of staying six feet from their clients and potential home buyers. Open houses will not be allowed.

“This designation is a recognition by the state that real estate licensees, real estate home inspectors and real estate appraisers provide a critical service to New York, which is vital to the wellbeing not only of New Yorkers but also for New York’s local and state economy,” according to a statement by ESD.

In response, the New York Association of Realtors said it reminds all of its members to fully comply with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s directives to maintain a clean and safe work environment during the pandemic.

The state Realtors association is working on further guidance for how it can continue to serve communities while adhering to these critical important health directives.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(2) comments


It's really good news for local realtors. This seems to be the hard time for all people (home buyers/sellers and realtors). However, many people still find out opportunities in crisis. Stocks have fallen, entire industries are putting themselves on pause. All that may make it seem like an odd moment to consider buying a house. The coronavirus crisis has disrupted the housing market. But with rates low and home sellers anxious, buyers could find good chance to own a house.


Gonna need those sales taxes.

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