Stark Operations During the Safer at Home Order

On March 24, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued a Safer at Home order asking many businesses and organizations to suspend operations until April 24. As of now, real estate services are exempt due to the fact that for some people, moving may be a necessity even in this stressful environment. Below are answers to the questions we have been receiving from you. As we remain available to those who need us, we are appreciative of your trust to operate safely and respectfully. We intend to do everything we can to live up to it. Read a statement from our President David Stark.

The State of Wisconsin’s Safer At Home order took effect Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. The Order will remain in place until at least April 24, 2020 or until a superseding order is issued. The Governor’s Disaster Proclamation and the Executive Order may be extended by the Governor.

The Executive Order is mandatory, and applies to the entire State of Wisconsin.
Yes. Section 13u titled Professional Services includes “real estate services (including appraisal, home inspection and title services)” as Essential Businesses and Operations. Therefore, those engaged in real estate services are exempt from the Safer At Home order.
The Governor has elected to classify real estate and related activities as exempt due to the need many people have to conclude real estate transactions in process or to find housing due to job changes, family changes, or other circumstances forcing them to move. At Stark, our priority is the health, safety, and welfare of the entire community during this time. It is our policy to conduct ourselves and our business in a way that does not in any way compromise those more urgent goals. Read a statement from our President David Stark.
The order permits you to leave your home for an activity related to a real estate transaction. While this is permitted, Stark does not recommend you do so unless it is absolutely necessary. Our agents and employees will—to the greatest extent possible—use technology for conducting business. We have many virtual options available—such as virtual tours and video conferencing—to avoid meeting in-person.
Yes, you are permitted to meet at our offices for real estate purposes. However, in an abundance of caution, we have closed our offices to the public and will only be available by appointment through your agent or our main office phone numbers. If in the offices, you must (as much as reasonably possible) maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person. Stark encourages everyone follow the guidance provided by the CDC and to take all prudent and common sense precautions to limit the risk of unnecessary exposure to, and transmission of, COVID-19.

 

The order does not prohibit real estate showings. However, it requires all persons participating in a real estate showing to maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, and where possible, having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available. To the greatest extent possible, Stark agents will use the virtual options available to clients and customers such as virtual tours and video conferencing. As a Stark policy, we are suspending in-person Open Houses during the duration of the Safer At Home order.

Per the Office of the Governor, individuals do not need special permission to leave their homes, but they must comply with the Safer at Home order as to when it is permissible. It is permissible to travel for purposes of access to Essential Activities, such as real estate services.

Contact your agent for best guidance. While real estate contracts can be similar, each contract has specific terms. Your agent will have knowledge to coach you through if any term of your contract is affected.

For any in-home appointments necessary to satisfy contract contingencies, your Stark agent will stay in contact with you. We’ll discuss in advance to make sure you are comfortable with—and approve of—who is coming to your home, when and for what purpose. For extra safety, inspectors and appraisers are requiring agents and buyers not to attend. All will be asked to follow CDC guidance.

Title companies, movers and businesses involved in a real estate transaction are currently exempt from the Safer At Home Order. Title companies are asking only those who need to sign documents to attend the closing. (This means Realtors, lenders and children are not to be present.) Due to a new law passed in March 2020, many closing services can now be done online. Given our ever-changing environment, your Stark Realtor will remain in close contact with you about options for closing and moving services. Any in-person needs will adhere to CDC guidelines.