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4/2/20 Update: ESD Has Deemed Specific Real Estate Brokerage Activities As Essential

Updated: Apr 3

Empire State Development clarified that residential and commercial showings along with back office real estate work, appraisal services and home inspections are essential real estate functions effective immediately. Further clarification was released on April 2 from ESD making it clear that agents can't show properties in person:

"Brokers can only transact business in their offices or show properties virtually, and anything else is off limits," an agency spokesman told the Albany Business Review.

April 1 Update:


Empire State Development clarified that residential and commercial showings along with back office real estate work, appraisal services and home inspections are essential real estate functions effective immediately. The official notice reads as follows.

Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health and every business, even if essential, is strongly urged to maintain social distance to the extent possible. The following functions of real estate and/or realtors (sic) are considered essential: residential home and commercial office showings; home inspections; and residential appraisers. Back-office real estate work is deemed essential, but please utilize telecommuting or work from home procedures to the maximum extent possible.

More information shared by the New York State Association of Realtors is here.

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