Shelter-in-Place Order: What Does It Mean? 

In an effort to prevent the continued spread of, and exposure to, COVID-19, a growing number of states, cities and counties have issued “shelter-in-place” orders. These shelter-in-place-orders, sometimes referred to as “stay at home” orders, generally require citizens to stay at home and discontinue all non-essential outings. While shelter-in-place orders vary from location-to-location, individuals are permitted to continue engaging in essential activities, such as trips to grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and a doctors’ offices.  Non-essential activities, however, which generally includes activities such as trips to hair salons, dine-in restaurants and bars, movie theaters, gyms, and museums, are prohibited. (NAR March 30, 2020)

How do Shelter-in-Place Orders affect real estate business?

It depends.  If real estate services are considered an essential service under the order, REALTORS® may be able to continue to conduct real estate business, which is the case in several states, like Illinois, Wisconsin and Connecticut, where real estate services are considered an “essential service” in the state’s shelter-in-place order.  However, this is not always the case. Several states, including New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, do not consider real estate to be an essential service, thereby limiting the continued conduct of real estate activities to actions that may be accomplished remotely. Keep in mind that even where real estate services are deemed “essential”, it may not be business as usual – many states require telework or remote work whenever possible and prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people, including in office spaces.  REALTORS® should endeavor to conduct as much work as possible remotely, and follow the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations for preventing spread of, and exposure to, COVID-19.(NAR March 30, 2020)

Bickerstaff Parham Recommendations 4/2/2020

Here’s what we know about our Business. Real Estate is currently classified as an “essential service” and neither state has issued an order to classify the Real Estate industry as a “Non-Essential” business. You may continue working as you have been these past few weeks. Just be careful and use good judgement. 


  • Our offices remain closed to the public.

  • Agents may access our offices 24/7 to conduct business, as long as you practice. social distancing in the building.

  • Continue conducting business and servicing clients remotely. 

  • Continue listing properties, showing properties, and writing contracts. 

  • Assess your clients’ preferences before scheduling in person appointments.

  • Now is the time to use video tours.

    • All listings should have a video tour or 3D tour. (Call Marty Upshaw if you need to hire a professional) 

    • You may want to use video to help your buyers view properties who are unable to physically visit the property. 

  • Allen, Steve, Sabrina, Sarah and Reynolds are available to support you and your business during this crisis. Please call or email us anytime with your questions.


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