Some are saying it should not have been done, others say the move reverses 'insensitive' and 'financially destructive' COVID policy. Either way, some tweaks have been made in the world of real estate and conducting funerals.

Gov. Inslee, going into the weekend, issued the following modifications to his two-week Stay and Home business ban:

  • "Funerals are only attended by immediate family members of the deceased.
  • The family members in attendance must maintain proper social distancing, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as staying six feet apart."

Inslee's office also clarified embalming for funeral homes. The original business bans were unclear as to what processes morticians were allowed to perform. The change in staging funerals came after a storm of emails and calls, especially from distraught families were not originally going to be allowed to bury and say goodbye to friends and relatives. The original Stay Home order banned the staging of funerals (and weddings) for it's duration.

As for real estate:

  • "In-person meetings with customers are prohibited except when necessary for a customer
    to view a property or sign necessary documents;
  • No real estate open houses shall be permitted;
  • Property viewings, inspections, appraisals, and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by
    appointment and limited to no more than two people on site at any one time, exercising
    social distancing at all times; and
  • Except for the limited exceptions authorized above, all new real estate listings shall be
    facilitated remotely."

Even this limited change will allow many agents to continue to process transactions and sales, using digital technology. According to information released by Washington state agents last week, an estimated 17,000 transactions (both residential and commercial) were going to be stalled indefinitely due to the original policy.  This would have had a huge ripple effect on loans, mortgages, inspections, title companies and other aspects of the real estate industry.    It would have cost hundreds of thousands, of not millions, of dollars.

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