During this period of Shelter in Place real estate home sales have been consider a non-essential service.  However, on March 28 Residential Real Estate is now listed as an essential service in the 2020 Federal list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency CISA updated its list of essential services during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis and expressly included residential real estate.   Since Governor Newsom’s March 4, 2020 order incorporates this list, the order now include residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services as essential services in California.

This would indicate that, although open houses are still not allowed, buying a home and the process of buying a home is permissible.  But, for Napa County it comes with a catch.

If a city or county has an order with a more restrictive standard regarding what qualifies as an essential service, or more restrictions on activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee.  This is the case with Napa County.

Per these orders, Realtors are currently NOT allowed to do any of the following:

  • Face-to-face marketing or sales activities
  • Showings
  • Listing Appointments
  • Attend Property Inspections or Appraisals
  • Open Houses


As a reminder, clients and other consumers are also subject to these orders still and should not be visiting properties or conducting other business in person until the County orders are changed.

There is an expectation that the local orders will be reviewed again since U.S. Department has just recently adjusted their list of essential services. The hope is that they be altered in the next few days.

I will keep you posted as things unfold during these unique times.

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