RASM UPDATES CONCERNING COVID-19
FHA Extends Forbearance – Requests Accepted Until Dec. 31
( October 21) Homeowners facing financial challenges caused by the pandemic now have until Dec. 31 to request forbearance if they have an FHA loan. A forbearance approval would allow them to avoid monthly payments in increments that could potentially last up to a full year. Learn more here.
PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal Opens on August 10
(October 8) For NAR members who borrowed $50,000 or less through the Paycheck Protection Program, it is now easier to receive automatic loan forgiveness. Learn more here.
NEW CDC Guidance and Tips
The new CDC guidance also includes tips for running essential errands and
participating in personal and social activities. Tips you need to know include:
• Stay home if sick.
• Use online services when available.
• Wear a cloth face covering when running errands or indoors.
• Practice social distancing (stay at least 6 feet away from others).
• Before you go, call and ask what extra prevention strategies they are using, like
requiring staff to wear cloth face coverings.
• Use hand sanitizer after leaving stores.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get
Governor Extends Ban on Evictions
(July 29) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until Sept. 1. The ban, which was initially signed in April, was going to expire Aug. 1, but DeSantis extended it for the third time in as many months. Learn more here.
NAR Shaping Pandemic Relief
(July 23) Read NAR’s letter to Congressional leaders sharing key issues for REALTORS®, consumers, and the industry, sent as negotiations are underway on what to include in new pandemic relief.
Showing Kits Available in REALTOR® Store
(June 1) Even with Florida reopening, REALTORS® are still advised to take certain precautions and hold virtual showings or open houses. If you must show a property in person, RASM has put together showing kits to help REALTORS® keep themselves and others safe. These kits will be available for purchase at both RASM locations for $20. Learn more here.
Independent Contractor Unemployment Update
(April 28) If you submitted an unemployment application on or before April 4, 2020, YOU NEED TO APPLY AGAIN. If you submitted your application on or after April 5, 2020, you do not need to reapply. In either of the above scenarios, independent contractors will be denied state benefits. Once denied, you will need to wait to hear from DEO in order to continue the process of applying for PUA benefits. A flowchart outlining the process can be found here.
BREAKING: Congress Approves $484B in Small Business Loan Relief
(April 24) Congress approved an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and $50 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), plus an additional $10 billion in EIDL grants. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation quickly and funding could be available as early as tomorrow. If you plan to apply for PPP or EIDL loans, act now. The money is expected to run out quickly. Here is what REALTORS® should do.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
Many REALTORS® are small businesses or work with small businesses as clients. The recently passed economic relief package (the CARES Act) includes significant provisions to assist small businesses during this difficult time. NAR has compiled a Frequently Asked Questions page to address who is eligible for loans and other SBA programs and how to apply. This page will be regularly updated. Click here to see how the stimulus package can help real estate businesses and REALTORS® themselves.
MLS Updates Open House Options
(May 22) Stellar MLS will now offer both in-person and virtual open house announcement options in Matrix! It is still recommended to hold virtual open houses, but if you must hold an open house in-person, make sure you follow these safety guidelines from Florida REALTORS®.
Vacation Rentals Plans Approved for Both Sarasota & Manatee
(May 21) THE DBPR approved Sarasota & Manatee County’s plan for reopening vacation rentals. Some of the requirements include, but not limited to;
- Only allowing rentals to people from states with less than 700 cases/100,000 residents.
- No renting to international travelers.
- You must provide CDC resources to guests.
- You must follow DBPR sanitation requirements.
For a full list of requirements and guidelines, click here.
Florida Stay-At-Home Order: Real Estate Deemed Essential
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order calling for all Floridians to stay home except to obtain essential services. This order is effective at midnight April 2 and lasts 30 days. Per the order, residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, are considered essential. A second executive order clarified that the stay-at-home order “shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19,” solidifying real estate as an essential service in Florida during this pandemic. Learn more here.
REALTORS® have a special responsibility to take all necessary health and safety precautions, including those ordered by your state or locality, whichever are stricter. Even if Real Estate is deemed essential, we strongly encourage you to use virtual showings and limit in-person activity in all other aspects of the real estate transaction to get us through this crisis.
Suspension of Foreclosures and Evictions
(May 14) On March 1, 2020, the Governor announced the suspension of all evictions and foreclosures in Florida for the next 45 days in an effort to keep people in their homes. On May 14, the Governor extended this order to go through June 2. Review the order here.
Foreclosure-eviction Moratorium Extended to Aug. 31
(June 17) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac extend the moratorium for foreclosures and evictions until August 31. Learn more here.
License Renewal Extended again
(June 17) The March 31, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020, renewal deadlines have been extended to Dec. 31, 2020. Learn more here.
IRS Extends Real Estate Investing Tax Deadlines
The IRS has extended the tax deadlines for both 1031-Exchanges and Opportunity Zone investment to July 15. Read more here.
FEMA Extends Flood Insurance Grace Period
The agency has extended the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days. Learn more here.
Fair Housing Compliance and COVID-19
(May 5) NAR compiled a list of frequently asked questions concerning fair housing laws and COVID-19. Make sure you aren’t violating any Fair Housing laws!
Answers to Top Coronavirus Legal Questions
Here are answers to some of the more recent legal questions about the impact of COVID-19 on real estate fielded by Florida Realtors attorneys.
COVID-19 In-Person Acknowledgment Forms on Form Simplicity
Released on April 13, 2020: Realtors can provide this form to consumers who still wish to view or show properties in person. It can be given to sellers, landlords, potential buyers and potential tenants by the listing office, the cooperating office or both.
What Brokers Need to Know About Reopening During Coronavirus
(May 6) Florida Realtors has prepared this guide so real estate brokers ready to open their offices to employees and customers can do so safely.
Safety Guidelines for Showing Property
(April 29) REALTORS® are advised to take these precautions to help keep themselves and others safe from coronavirus as Florida begins to slowly reopen its economy. Check out these guidelines to keep you and your clients & customers safe.
Protect your Investment Brochure
The REALTOR® Party has released a new resource for members to help homeowners who are struggling to meet their loan obligations. The “Protect Your Investment” brochure encourages homeowners to work with REALTORS® and housing counselors and offer guidance on options provided by lenders.
NAR’s Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTORS®
Visit NAR’s coronavirus page for these guides to support you at this time:
- General Guidance During COVID-19
- Open House Guidance During COVID-19
- Transaction Guidance During COVID-19
- Shelter-in-Place Guidance During COVID-19
FR Members Receive FREE Form Simplicity Upgrade
All Florida Realtors members not already subscribed to Form Simplicity’s Ultimate Edition will be upgraded at no cost. This update includes unlimited Sign. Florida Realtors will also provide a discount to members whose individual Ultimate Edition renewals will take place through June 30, 2020. Learn more here.
Market Pulse Survey: Coronavirus vs. Real Estate
How are your buyers or sellers reacting to the coronavirus? RASM is looking for responses and updates from REALTORS® in our local market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please complete this brief, anonymous 12-question survey to let us know how your buyers or sellers have responded to the situation or if it’s made an impact on your business.
RASM ANNUAL EVENTS
All meetings, classes, and events shall be postponed, canceled or offered virtually until further notice. Refunds for members and customers for meeting, class, or event postponements or cancellations shall be given.
The RASM Classes below are postponed and will be moved to a later date. For a full list of classes visit our calendar.
NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION
New member orientation classes shall be canceled or offered virtually until further notice. The 90-day completion requirement shall be temporarily waived, until further notice. New members shall be advised to complete the Code of Ethics class on-line through NAR.
Effective immediately, the Association shall endeavor to conduct committee meetings electronically until further notice. If you are a member of a RASM committee, please note that Committee Chairs and Staff Liaisons are working to make accommodations for your upcoming committee meetings.
Individuals and communities should familiarize themselves with recommendations to protect themselves and their communities from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. As this information is ever-changing, we recommend that you stay up to date by visiting the CDC or WHO websites.
All members and staff should take proactive actions to help prevent the spread of illnesses, including coronavirus and the seasonal flu:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
RASM is currently exploring the possibility of offering online webinars to our members. In the meantime, here are some online education resources you can take advantage of.
- NAR Designations and Certifications through Pinellas REALTOR® Organization (PRO) – RASM has teamed up with PRO to offer members virtual designation and certification courses at special member-only pricing!
- The CE Shop – The CE Shop provides online solutions for all your real estate educational needs, including Pre-Licensing, Post-Licensing and Continuing Education. Courses are offered on an innovative learning platform designed for the adult learner.
- NAR’s Right Tools, Right Now – The Right Tools, Right Now initiative, which was activated once before in 2009, makes new and existing NAR products and services available for FREE or at significant discounts. Right now, all online courses are at least 30% off through the Center of REALTOR® Development!
- Interact CE – Interact CE is the #1 recommended license renewal product that’s both fun and proven superior learning. Refine your skills and earn CE credit while playing the part of a real-estate professional put in real life situations. Interact CE uses games to engage and educate students in an experiential learning situation.
- C2EX – Launched in November 2018, the Commitment to Excellence program sets the standard for what it means to be a professional in the real estate brokerage business. It is earned through a self-directed program that enables real estate professionals to assess and build on their competency in each of the core areas. Add yourself to the list of RASM Members who have completed their C2EX Endorsement