NYSAR has issued some FAQs that may answer any additional questions you may have.
CARES Act and What is Means for REALTORS®
3/27/20 – The CARES Act includes several provisions and programs that will provide direct relief to consumers and REALTORS® alike.
New York real estate agents one step closer to receiving federal aid
3/24/20 – (via Inman)- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has applied for federal disaster unemployment assistance, which would provide financial aid to more than 1.2 million independent contractors.
NYS prohibits real estate showings and open houses after Sunday
3/20/20 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo mentioned real estate activities in his press conference Friday. As such, it is believed that all showings and open houses will be prohibited after Sunday evening.
Legal Update on Open Houses, Showings Amid COVID-19
3/18/20 – Due to member concerns about the potential spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), NYSAR has been receiving a number of calls from members inquiring about whether a) NYSAR has the authority to ban open houses and/or in-person showings and b) what rights an owner may have in refusing or limiting showings.
Updates from NYSAR Leadership
Important Update from your 2020 NYSAR Leadership Team Regarding Real Estate Activities During the COVID-19 State of Emergency
As of 8:00 pm tonight, March 22, an Executive Order (EO) by Governor Andrew Cuomo effectively restricts real estate licensees from working outside of their homes. Real estate brokerage and many other businesses were not designated as essential by the Governor in the EO.
The EO means that until further notice real estate licensees are precluded from holding open houses, showings and in-person listing presentations for example. You are not precluded from most work that you can accomplish from your home.
One typical activity for licensees that you cannot do, even from home, is cold calling when a state of emergency is in effect such as it is now. Specifically, brokerages and their associated licensees are prohibited from making unsolicited telephone calls to consumers during the current State of Emergency until at least September 7, 2020. Any brokerage or licensee making such calls should immediately cease all such activity.
The EO is unclear about activities related to real estate closings scheduled for March 23 and until further notice. NYSAR is actively working with our industry partners and state officials to get guidance. NYSAR will send updates as information becomes available.
We believe that if closings are deemed essential and able to proceed, licensees should not attend closings unless their presence is essential to the successful completion of the transaction. One of the matters for which we are seeking clarification is a licensees’ ability to participate in a final walk-through and any restrictions that might apply if the walkthroughs are allowed.
Impact of H.R. 6201 “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” on NAR Members
Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) providing support to American workers, families, and businesses, including the expansion of paid sick leave and family medical leave. It also includes refundable tax credits for small businesses and self-employed individuals to cover the cost of the leave.
New York State Tax Filing & Payment Deadline Moved
Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.12 authorizing the commissioner of the Department of Tax and Finance to provide relief from tax filing and payment deadlines. Subsequently, the commissioner has extended the April 15, 2020, due date to July 15, 2020, for New York State personal and corporate income taxes.
Current law provides for hardship extension waivers when licensees are unable to complete their continuing education requirements for license renewal. We are happy to report that the NYS Department of State (DOS) will grant six (6) month waivers to students who are unable to complete their education due to the state of emergency.
Licensees requiring a waiver must provide evidence of a bona fide hardship precluding completion of the continuing education requirements prior to the time the renewal application is to be filed. A licensee seeking such a waiver shall go through the renewal process using eAccessNY. When filling out the renewal application, the licensee would indicate that they did not complete the required continuing education. Choose the option to upload documents and provide: 1) all documentation demonstrating such hardship and 2) a written request for such a waiver. The DOS will notify you if the waiver was granted.
The DOS is now working on a notification that will be posted on their website and sent via email. Please look for the notification from DOS and further updates from NYSAR.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order allowing for documents to be notarized virtually using audio-video technology, which those in the real estate industry say is a necessary step to keep business moving during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the executive order, Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency, any “notarial act that is required under New York State law” is allowed to be performed using audio-video technology if the person seeking the notary’s services, if not personally known to the notary, presents valid photo ID to the notary during the video conference.
For more information and process requirements, contact your firm’s notary.
In an effort to keep you informed and safe we will be forwarding you anything we receive from our health insurance carrier that will help you stay informed and safe during this very stressful time. If you have any questions please contact our benefits account manager, Cindy Insero, at The Reis Group, at 518-407-2570 Direct or 5182797404 Ext. 665.
Work From Home Resources
All in-person education classes at GCAR have been canceled through April. We are working with our online education partner, The CE Shop, to offer a 40% discount for online education to our members through April 15th, with the possibility of this time frame being extended. If your license is expiring soon and you need to take a class, use promo code SUPPORT40 at checkout to receive the 40% discount.
Get Ready for Your Close Up
Though listing presentations, showings, and other in-person real estate activities may not be conducted, a great deal can be accomplished with a camera. If you need assistance on conducting the client contact portion of your business remotely there are a variety of tools. You might start with a quick review of the two below that many Global MLS members are using.
Facebook Live – Use this in addition to a virtual tour. Remember videos that are too long will not be fully viewed. Click here to learn more.
How to work with Homesnap Stories – The ‘Add Story’ button will appear in the upper-left-hand corner when a listing agent is viewing their own listing. People will then be able to view the story when looking at a listing for which a Homesnap story has been created. Click here to learn more.
If you would like more specifics on using Homesnap, visit Homesnap University to sign up for one of their upcoming webinars.
Not working or working out today?
Some GCAR members are getting their fresh air and exercise while delivering Meals on Wheels and other local organizations delivering care packages to the elderly and others who cannot travel to a grocery store.
The addendum can be found in MLS documents on Paragon.
NYSAR has developed the “COVID-19 ADDENDUM TO RESIDENTIAL PURCHASE CONTRACT.” The addendum is an agreement between the seller and purchaser to permit certain extensions and the rights of the parties to cancel the contract in the event COVID-19 related issues make it impossible or improbable to close. In the addendum, the seller and purchaser agree that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting real estate transactions, transaction-related service providers and consumers. There is a possibility that transaction-related service providers such as lenders, title/abstract companies, appraisers, home inspectors, and attorneys may be providing limited or no services as a result of COVID-19 issues. COVID-19 issues may include, but are not limited to: emergencies declared by the government, travel restrictions, mandatory closures or reduction of staff at transaction-related service providers, quarantine, exposure to or contraction of COVID-19.