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A Conversation About the COVID Addendum and Liability

By: Bill Festa on in  | 

During PAR’s Facebook Live on April 30, I provided a brief update about PAR’s recent actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and talked with PAR Standard Forms Manager Desiree Brougher, Esq. and PAR Legal Counsel Jim Goldsmith, Esq.

Thank you to everyone who responded to PAR’s Call-to-Action for House Bill 2412. More than 8,500 of you sent emails to your state representatives – which is just phenomenal. With the passage of that bill in the House this week, it’s obvious that your voice was heard.

The bill would allow real estate to reopen on a statewide basis and now moves to the Senate for consideration. We’re grateful to Rep. Todd Polinchock and to the other 124 representatives who passed the bill. Many of you may remember that Rep. Polinchock served as PAR’s 2016 president. PAR knows the legislation only addresses residential real estate and has a proposed amendment that would allow the entire real estate industry to reopen.

While the House was debating and voting on House Bill 2412, the Department of State issued further guidance on what in-person real estate activity is currently permitted. It also appeared to outline how the real estate industry would likely be reopened regionally under Gov. Tom Wolf’s red-yellow-green plan.

The document does clarify some of PAR’s questions raised in a previous memo from the Department of State issued on April 10, 2020, but it also creates new questions. We are continuing to pressure the department to provide answers to many questions that the industry has regarding the guidelines.

PAR still believes it’s important that the real estate industry reopens statewide. A fragmented reopening of the real estate industry will continue to impede consumers’ abilities to purchase homes where they want to live and cause confusion for both consumers and the industry.

That’s why PAR will continue to work with legislators to encourage the statewide reopening of the real estate market. Sen. Lisa Boscola is also introduced similar legislation in the Senate. Senate Bill 1135 would exempt real estate work from the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

There have also been some hypothetical reopening plans posted in various places. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Unless PAR publishes that some new proposal is valid, please don’t assume that anything you’re reading about is actually moving forward in any way. PAR will continue to notify you the minute we learn of any new guidelines or information so be sure to visit PARealtors.org/coronavirus.

Watch my conversation with Desiree Brougher, Esq., about the COVID-19 Addendum and Jim Goldsmith, Esq. about general liability issues during this challenging time.



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