As of Friday, May 1, phase one of Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen Texas will go into effect, resulting from the statewide executive order issued on April 27. Please read our analysis of the order and the following changes that impact your business:
- Residential and commercial real estate services are still considered essential service and allowed to continue, per Gov. Abbott's April 27 executive order and federal recommendations for essential services.
- Good news! Starting tomorrow, ABoR will resume limited-contact pick-up appointments for REALTOR® Store and lockbox sales. Call 512.454.7636 to purchase a REALTOR® Store item or lockbox, or program a lockbox, and we'll schedule an appointment at ABoR HQ to pick up your item(s).
- The statewide order supersedes conflicting guidance in local shelter-in-place orders that have not yet expired. Local governmental entities may offer additional guidance in the coming days. If and when that occurs, ABoR will let you know of any changes as soon as possible.
- While the order does not provide any restrictions or guidance regarding in-person gatherings, Gov. Abbott urges Texans to continue social distancing and to follow safety precautions, such as wearing masks. Keep in mind, federal recommendations state that gatherings of 10 or more people should be avoided when businesses initially begin to reopen.
- Yesterday, Gov. Abbott also announced that consumers may appear before a notary via video conference when executing real estate documents, such as mortgages, through May 30, 2020. However, individual lender's requirements may still not allow for virtual notarization to be utilized.
- At this time, the April 27 order still prohibits businesses like ABoR from having more than one person on site at a time. We will continue remote service for our members and are fully operational and open for business. When our physical offices reopen again, know that it will be with the utmost adherence to safety precautions and sanitization measures to protect our members and our staff.
- If you have further questions on the Governor's Report to Reopen Texas, call the Texas REALTORS® Legal Hotline at 1.800.873.9155.
As more people venture out of their homes, it's more important than ever to take extreme caution during in-person interactions to protect yourself and your clients. We have created these showing guidelines for you to consider as you prepare new procedures for safely conducting business. Please continue to talk to your broker and/or legal counsel about any specific policies that should be followed, including usage of the COVID-19 forms in your transactions.
We're in this together, and ABoR still has your back. Visit our Stay Home, Work Safe Resources Kit for new business-building resources added weekly, such as this Daily Lead Generation Tracker and our videographer's recommended equipment list for producing professional virtual tours.