Vaccination and Showings

With NYS finally starting to open back up and lifting some Covid related restrictions, here are some recent changes that impact how buyers and agents can view properties.  The information below was provided by the New York State Association of REALTORS as of 05/20/21.

What is a fully vaccinated and a not fully vaccinated individual?

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson [J&J]/Janssen); there is currently no post-vaccination time limit on fully vaccinated status. If the individual has received the vaccination but is still within the ≥2 week period, they are considered not fully vaccinated.  This includes children not yet eligible for vaccination. 

What are the guidelines for individuals that are fully vaccinated for COVID-19?

If all parties are fully vaccinated, masks and social distancing are no longer required.

What are the guidelines for individuals that are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated?

Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals, under both CDC and state guidance must wear masks in all public settings and try to maintain social distancing.  You still need to wash your hands regularly.  You still need to clean/disinfect high touch surfaces at all showings if the licensee or any client/customer is not fully vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Can a seller or landlord require all parties to be fully vaccinated before entering the property? (updated 5/20)

No, the CDC guidance provides for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals to wear a mask.  As long as the individual wears a mask and proper cleaning/disinfecting of high touch surfaces or surfaces that were touched are cleaned, they must be permitted to enter the premises.

Can we ask for proof of vaccination?

Yes.  The guidance sets forth the types of proof that are acceptable.  Proof of full vaccination status can be provided through paper form (vaccine card), digital application, or the State’s Excelsior Pass.

What if the party refuses to provide proof of vaccination?

If an individual refuses to show proof of vaccination, they will be considered to be unvaccinated.  

What if my client/customer is unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated and refuses to wear a mask at a showing or open house?

The licensee is still obligated under the Real Property Law to act in an honest and trustworthy manner.  If the individual refuses to wear a mask, the licensee should not go forward with the showing/open house.  Although the owner or landlord may not have required individuals to be fully vaccinated, it should be expected that individuals comply with the guidelines and others are safe from possible exposure.

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