High Country Association of REALTORS News

REALTOR® activity remains ‘essential service’ in NC

The High Country Association of REALTORS® and its members continue to operate - at restricted levels - during the COVID-19 pandemic. As they work, REALTORS® are taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of themselves and their clients as they work together to buy and sell property in the four-county area.

“During these challenging times it has become necessary to modify the ways we have traditionally gone about the business of real estate,” said Pam J. Vines, president of HCAR, which represents REALTORS® in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. “Buying and selling is continuing across our market for those with life changes such as job relocations, growing or downsizing families, and retirements, as well as investor activity.”

Under North Carolina’s Executive Order 121 most real estate activity is considered essential. It is allowed to continue if strict health and safety guidelines are followed.

“The Stay-at-Home Order issued by Governor Roy Cooper declares real estate services - including brokerage, appraisal and title services - to be essential services,” said Vines. “A strong housing market will lead the way to an economic recovery.”

Among the steps being taken by REALTORS®:

  • Any REALTORS® or broker exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (including fever, coughing or shortness of breath) is staying quarantined and not participating in any face-to-face business.
  • REALTORS® are not meeting with any clients who are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Virtual tours of properties and online conferencing software are used as much as possible.
  • If showing a property is a necessity, REALTORS® and clients are traveling to properties in separate vehicles and maintaining a minimum of six feet between persons.
  • Limit showings to immediate family of buyers and observe the small group limitations.
  • No one under the age of 18 years old should be permitted to attend showings.
  • While touring a property, REALTORS® are wearing protective gloves and masks and asking the same of clients. They are sanitizing door handles, light switches, lockboxes, etc. Clients are asked to not touch anything in the home and to wash hands both on arrival and departure from home.
  • No open houses are conducted or scheduled.

REALTORS® are committed to keeping our families, our clients and our communities safe and healthy,” said Vines. “We are strong. We are resilient. We are REALTORS®. That's who we ‘R’!”