NYSAR has issued some FAQs that may answer any additional questions you may have.
From the DOS: Effective March 27, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order 202.11, any license issued by the Division of Licensing Services, that expires after that date, shall remain in effect until July 6, 2020. Any license holder that is eligible to renew and does not need the extension is encouraged to do so; all other license holders may rely on the above extensions. Please note licensees who submit a renewal after the expiration date printed on their license but by June 7, 2020 will see a change in their license term dates upon renewal, however, our office will maintain a record of the EO extension and your license will considered continuous licensure for this period.
NYSAR Provides Reopening Guidance to County Execs
NYSAR has sent their recommendations for how to reopen real estate brokerages in Phase 2 to County Executives. County Executives will play a role in the regional decision-making for reopening and NYSAR wanted to make sure that they know what the real estate industry needs. It has also been sent to all members of the State Senate and Assembly.
4/3/20 – Several news outlets including the Buffalo News and Real Deal are reporting that the ESD has amended its guidance of April 1st to restrict residential and commercial real estate showings to be “virtual” only. NYSAR interprets “virtual” to mean no in-person contact when conducting a showing. Licensees should conduct the showing alone and use a tool such as video conferencing with the buyer or tenant.
4/2/20 – NYSAR’s first priority is the safety of our members; our mantra must be ‘safety first, work second.’ While New York State has now designated certain limited real estate activities as an essential service, it cannot be said more clearly and strongly that we value our members’ safety and health above all else.
4/1/20 – The Empire State Development agency clarified that residential and commercial showings along with back-office real estate work, appraisal services and home inspections are essential real estate functions effective immediately.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was created as part of the recently enacted $2.2 trillion federal economic relief legislation to help certain unemployed persons impacted by COVID-19. This program offers temporary unemployment assistance to those who are unemployed, partially employed or unable to work because of COVID-19 and are not currently eligible for regular unemployment benefits. New York REALTORS®, may therefore apply for benefits. These benefits may last for a period of up to 39 weeks.
To view a list of scenarios under which an individual may or may not be eligible for PUA, click here.
It’s important to note that if you have the ability to telework with pay or are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits, you will not be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
Note that filing days for PUA are based on the first letter of your last name. For more information, visit labor.ny.gov.
To apply, click here.
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.
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.
Applying for pandemic unemployment assistance can be challenging, but it’s easier with NAR’s new resource PUA & YOU: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Guide for REALTORS®. In this video, two attorneys and two REALTORS® share their expertise and offer advice on the application process.
New Guide to Fair Housing Compliance During COVID-19
Download NAR’s new guidance for answers to fair housing questions in light of COVID-19, such as whether anti-discrimination laws apply to housing during the pandemic and whether people who have COVID-19 are covered under the national origin or disability protections of the federal Fair Housing Act.
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.
Last week, Governor Cuomo made several announcements related to rent payments and evictions:
- The state’s moratorium on COVID-related residential or commercial evictions will be extended for an additional 60 days until August 20th.
- Late payments or fees for missing a rent payment have been banned.
- Renters facing financial hardship may use their security deposits as a payment for rent and repay that security deposit over time.
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.
If a licensees license expired on or before March 26 and cannot complete their continuing education due to a hardship, then they can submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and request an extension to complete their continuing education. There is NO waiver of the continuing education requirement. If the licensee is granted an extension then they have six months to complete their continuing education and return it to the Department with the extension letter they receive.
Effective March 27, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order 202.11, any license issued by the Division of Licensing Services, that expires after that date, shall remain in effect until July 6, 2020. Any license holder that is eligible to renew and does not need the extension is encouraged to do so; all other license holders may rely on the above extensions. Please note licensees who submit a renewal after the expiration date printed on their license but by June 7, 2020, will see a change in their license term dates upon renewal, however, our office will maintain a record of the EO extension and your license will be considered continuous licensure for this period.
Visit https://www.dos.ny.gov for updates and guidance.
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
Keep an eye on the GCAR education calendar for upcoming online classes. Click here to view the calendar.
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 30th, 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.
Using Virtual Open Houses and Tours can make you very effective at any time. There are many free and low cost tools to use, we have posted a few in the member messages on the MLS.
- Global MLS is currently allowing Unbranded Virtual Tours in the Public Remarks. Realtor.com will allow it for a limited time and Zillow allows it.
- On April 9, Paragon will have a new field in the Open House module: Virtual URL Field (Web link field). This field will also be added to the search, reports, and Collab Center in Paragon. We will be refreshing the data after the update so the field will be available in all data feeds if websites accept it. If you would like your website to reflect this field, you may need to speak to your IDX provider for adjustments to your site.
The Agent to Agent Remarks on your listings can help a buyer’s agent better understand how the home will be made available to their buyers. Now is the time to use all those characters available to extol the virtues of your listing to both other agents and the public.
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.
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.
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.