California shutting down non-essential business - Guidance?

There are now different rules and orders, what to do? If we read LA County’s it would seem that maybe we scale down to essential people via section T

But the Governor’s order seems much less clear, anyone have any guidance?

My take going forward is only essential people on site i.e. someone to open the door and very limited contact, meaning no buyers / sellers. My idea is to implement the intent of all this, but it’s not clear.

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It is really not clear. It says "except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the critical infrastructure sectors as outlined at

If you look at
it lists:

  • Real Estate (e.g., office and apartment buildings, condominiums, mixed use facilities, self-storage).
  • Retail (e.g., retail centers and districts, shopping malls).

Ambiguous laws like this are hard to figure out.

Agreed… LA City and County give some wiggle room for us, keeping only those essential for what is, essential. i.e. no contact / 6 feet away etc. but areas outside that is ambiguous and unclear AND fwiw State would trump local.

I wish there was more guidance. I wish InterNACHI had someone on staff who acted as a industry spokes person with the different states. That would be a true service to the members.


I’m am from NJ. I keep hearing that only the Gov. of the state can make “shut down” orders.
Again, from what I’m hearing this is what it sounds like.
The New York City mayor is always telling everyone he is shutting down the city then the Gov. comes on and says no.

I am also following CAR. Right now they only posted the press release but hopefully they post guidance for agents which may give clarity that can be applied industry wide.

Even CAR isn’t really clear… what are you gathering from this Eugene?

I agree this isn’t really clear. I do have a morning inspection with the sellers and the buyer that will not be present during the inspection, only the buyer agent and myself. I will take other precautions using disposable gloves and a mask and will limit my contact with others. I also suspect I will get a few cancellations which is understandable. I could use a few days off anyways…


Tim, CAR has given zero clarity so far, but they are a big organization and have lobbyists. Hopefully they will help get more information. They have hundreds of thousands of agents that are in the same situation that we are in so I figure they will be working hard on this. Hopefully they will share clarity that would apply to us also.

My morning inspection today has an elderly bed ridden occupant. Even wearing PPE, there is too much liability going without knowing that performing inspections is legally allowed at this time in our state. I am postponing until there is clarity.

It is really frustrating how poorly the state wide law is. If it was more clear like the Los Angels order, at least we would know what is allowed. The state order looks like it was slapped together in a few minutes.

100% agree… LA County/City have clear & concise info for a biz owner to make a decision from, the California order and CAR’s guidance are blurry and unhelpful.

And if you/I or anyone for that matter shows up and an environment is not conducive to providing a service inline with the intent of all this, just indicate your concerns and re-schedule. CAR does already have a form giving buyers/sellers the option to cancel or delay.

Watching the speech of the Governor announcing this order, he state they would be adding “we will be getting more information out in the next hours or day about exemptions…” I guess we just have to wait.

That’s a good point Tim, I am going to contact the buyer and agent to reschedule.

Unfortunately if Italy’s version of the virus visits California then the only work will be in doing forensic inspections… :mask:

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Very true Joe. I think this has been hyped to an extent but… to ignore one’s well being for short term gain or to shore losses is their own peril, getting thru this is super important either way.

I think essential services is hard to define and so intertwined that they just don’t even try. But some things I can think of are food and water, waste disposal, energy, financial, medical and transportation. I work as a grading inspector at a southern California inert debris landfill and they were specifically told by the county of Los Angeles to stay open.

Hopefully some guidance is provided soon on home inspections because buyers depend on them to make informed decisions, but it really isn’t worth the risk to have anybody else there with the inspector, including the seller.

True… and fwiw, whatever we’ve got in the tubes so to speak will filter down and slow way down anyway, this won’t be much of a problem for long unfortunately. It’s hard to imagine buyers looking at homes and/or seller’s letting a bunch of folks in, it’ll slow to a crawl.

How could real estate sales be considered an essential business during a pandemic? The one and only market which may remain open is for-sale-by-owner cash sales which is common for my location, although I am currently shut down.


Without any other guidance, I tend to agree with you, and my local/LA County agrees and tries to make a point to state essential practices or inspections to transfer real estate, I’m not convinced either way that we are essential in that regard. However, construction and trade activity is exempted, likely due to both money / economy and less personal contact. There’s a snippet for my local county’s order… seems like we’d have to construe ourselves as necessary to transfer real estate… kind of a stretch. Capture trades

The agent from today’s inspection said the called the CAR legal hotline and they said that real estate activities are not prohibited and that it is up to each agent. I tried calling but I could not get through the prescreening process because I don’t have a CAR membership. I still cannot find anything on their website.

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