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Coronavirus Updates from NAR, IAR and KBOR

Friday, March 20, 2020

Why is NAR issuing this guidance?

In response to the growing concerns about COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, NAR is providing this guidance to help REALTOR® associations respond to the coronavirus’s impact on the real estate industry. As of March 16, 2020, the United States government has banned all travel from Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland into the United States for a period of thirty (30) days. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Level 3 Travel Warnings for China, Iran and South Korea, and a Level 2 Travel Health Notice all other global travel. The situation is rapidly evolving. Be sure to refer to the CDC’s website for up-to-date information about travel warnings(link is external)as well as information about the coronavirus’ current impact in the United States(link is external)Daily updates about the coronavirus are also available from the World Health Organization(link is external)

What is Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that has infected more than 142,000 individuals in 134 countries, causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to classify this outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing emergency signs such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or bluish lips or face should immediately seek medical attention.

What is the risk of exposure to coronavirus?

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC urges citizens to monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible. Visit the CDC’s website(link is external) for latest updates.​​

Self-Employed, Small Business Included in Emergency Aid Measures

The Senate passed emergency legislation Wednesday afternoon to provide support to workers and families during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill now goes to President Trump, who has said he will sign it into law.
 
Included in the bill are expansions of paid sick leave and family medical leave for workers. In addition, a refundable tax credit for small businesses is designed to offset 100% of the employer’s share of the new benefits.
 
Self-employed persons are also eligible for a refundable tax credit to cover sick and family leave.

“Last week, we urged Congressional leaders to include robust protections for small business owners and the self-employed in this bill,” said Shannon McGahn, senior vice president of government affairs at NAR.  “This bill does both, and with the structure of the tax credits, financial relief will come quickly.”

“A stimulus measure is also in the works that could bring targeted relief to the economy, to certain industries, and to the American people.  We are in constant contact with Congressional leaders in support of our 1.4 million members,” McGahn continued.

UPDATES FROM IAR:

March 23, 2020

COVID-19 Q&A’s from IAR Legal Hotline

Did you see this email IAR sent late last Tuesday or the email KBOR sent out on Friday? It provided suggested contract language to deal with future delays or possible cancellations and addressed attendance at closing. If you haven’t read the emails, we strongly encourage you to do so.

The hope is that by IAR keeping Indiana REALTORS® on the same page that they can bring certainty to local markets.

As expected, the IAR email stirred up some calls. IAR Legal Hotline attorneys compiled some of the more frequently asked questions from the last week and their answers:

March 20, 2020

From IAR: This afternoon, we hosted a call with some leading Managing Brokers from around the state who’ve reached out to us over the last week or so regarding issues that have arisen since the virus COVID-19 arrived in Indiana. We also discussed how IAR could help in these uncertain, worrisome times. In consultation with these Managing Brokers, as well as NAR and outside counsel, here are some things we want you to know. 

Contract Language

In dealing with future delays or possible contract cancellations, we suggest the following language be used in the Further Conditions of the Purchase Agreement:

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Agreement, the parties agree and acknowledge that in the event either the Buyer, Buyer’s lender, Seller, any of their respective service providers, government agency or any other agency becomes the subject of a voluntary or mandatory COVID-19 virus quarantine or closure prior to or at the time of Closing, or if Buyer or Seller is the party to another transaction that is delayed as a result of a voluntary or mandatory COVID-19 virus quarantine, that results in the parties inability to perform on the Closing Date, the closing may be automatically extended by either party for a period of up to ten (10) business days after such quarantine or closure order is lifted, up to a maximum delay of thirty (30) days unless the parties otherwise mutually agree to extend the performance date further. Upon the expiration of any automatic or agreed extension, either party may terminate this Agreement without any further liability to the other party, and the Earnest Money shall be immediately refunded to the Buyer.

This protective language can also be used for transactions already in place by adding it in an Amendment or other applicable legal form.

March 17, 2020

The Indiana Association of REALTORS® hosted a call with some leading Managing Brokers from around the state who’ve reached out over the last week or so regarding issues that have arisen since the virus COVID-19 arrived in Indiana. It was also discussed how IAR could help in these uncertain, worrisome times. In consultation with these Managing Brokers, as well as NAR and outside counsel, here are some things IAR wants you to know. 

Attendance at Closing

Although Indiana license law requires broker attendance at closing, there is an exception that if your client does not attend, then the broker does not have to attend. Remote closings for your client, or requests not to appear in person, may lend itself to falling within this exception.
If you are not able or are unwilling to attend closing, communicate with your client, advise of the circumstances, and let them know that you will be available virtually, by phone or some other acceptable means of communication. Document this disclosure with your client.

Acting in good faith pursuant to emergency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local, state, and national guidelines in these unusual circumstances should protect our members from any violation of this law. If the Indiana Real Estate Commission (IREC) provides some guidance in the future, we will keep you updated.

Questions:
The IAR Legal Hotline is open. We imagine new questions will develop as we navigate these uncharted waters. Ask your Managing Broker to call or authorize you to call the hotline.

1-800-444-5472
Monday—Friday | 9am—5pm ET
Calls are answered in the order they are received, always by phone, and within 24 hours.

KBOR REALTORS®:

While the coronavirus is a growing concern across the country and state, KBOR would like to assure members that we are prepared and are closely monitoring the situation. It is our intention to continue to serve our members. In order to do that, our team has a plan in place to ensure the needs of our members can be met. As the health and safety of our members and staff is our top concern, beginning Monday, March 23 KBOR will implement the following until further notice:

  • The KBOR Staff will work remotely and the KBOR office will be temporarily closed until further notice – this will cause no disruption to your service
  • All meetings will be postponed, held by phone calls or online whenever in-person meetings are not absolutely necessary
  • Anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms, had known exposure to the virus or traveled outside the country in the past 14 days are being asked to conduct business remotely

Event Cancellations:

  • 2020 General Business Meeting: POSTPONED
  • KBOR/MLS Board of Director’s Meeting: CANCELLED
  • New Member Orientation: POSTPONED
  • *RECP Continuing Education: ON HOLD

* At this point, RECP has not cancelled live classes in May, but they are working on an online virtual option where the instructor teaches from one location and the students log in from their homes.  If you still need the 12-hours before June 1st, please consider the online option.

Association Update:

Per the request of the Executive Committee, KBOR Staff will begin to work from home as of Monday March 23, 2020.  So, the KBOR office will be closed. 

Contact information:

MLS and SUPRA questions:

All other questions:

Please visit www.kbor.com,or KBOR’s MLS Home Page, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for KBOR, IAR and NAR announcements on the latest Coronavirus updates that may affect you.   

COVID-19: Update from ShowingTime

During this rapidly evolving crisis, we have been monitoring developments closely and are following all recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We remain open and operational as we’re fortunate to have the technological bandwidth and capabilities to serve our clients remotely. While the virus is proving most serious for the elderly or those with existing health conditions, we realize all of us are at risk and want to help limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • All our employees are currently working remotely.
  • Day-to-day business activities are continuing.
  • Our team is foregoing travel for the near future.
  • We’ve posted a webpage that shows the impact of COVID-19 on showings, www.showingtime.com/impact-of-coronavirus/.
  • We’ve also added notifications to showing agents asking them to confirm that, to their knowledge, they do not have COVID-19, when scheduling a showing.
  • Overlapping showings are being discouraged so agents may show homes without concern that another agent will be there, in line with recommendations to practice social distancing.

Best Practices for ShowingTime Setup:

When setting up your listings, you can choose “No” for “Allow Overlapping Showings” in the Appointment Restrictions.

The Set Up Listings in ShowingTime user guide can help you with this.

Yes, we are OPEN!

March 19, 2020

We understand that you may have questions about Black Knight’s response to the current concerns around COVID-19.  In an effort to protect our employees and support social distancing measures, we have transitioned to a fully remote status.  However, we have long-standing and well-tested business continuity plans in place and remain fully capable of delivering on the premier products and services you expect during this time.  All applications and support efforts have continued without interruption and will continue to do so.

 For those with agent support services, we remain available for all normal business hours, referenced below. We know some of you have preferred to handle that first touch directly before transferring to us and now may be unable to do so after transitioning to remote work  yourselves.  Rest assured, we are ready and able to take those additional calls to assist as needed and will continue to take outstanding care of your members.

 Agent Support Hours

  • Monday-Friday: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

We recognize that you trust us with some of your most important data and critical business operations. We are as dedicated as ever to maintaining our commitments to you and remaining steadfast in our efforts to support both you and your members.  If you need any additional assistance during this time, please feel free to reach out to discuss available options.

We’ll be here.

-Black Knight MLS 

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