House Passes Bill to Allow Real Estate Services to Reopen

By Kim Shindle | April 29, 2020 | 3 min. read

Editor’s note: This Call-to-Action is no longer active. House Bill 2421 passed the House and Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf on May 19, 2020.

House Bill 2412 passed out of the House in a 125 to 77 vote yesterday. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks), would allow real estate services to be conducted uniformly across the state.

HB 2412 now moves to the Senate, where it will require committee consideration and undergo consideration in the Senate.

“Yesterday was a big victory for families in the commonwealth in need of housing, as well as our Realtor® professionals who are struggling in this pandemic,” said Polinchock, who served as PAR’s 2016 president. “Passing HB 2412 displayed the legislature is confident that our practitioners can conduct business safely and per CDC guidelines, while helping Pennsylvania’s economy recover from the brink of devastation. With 8,500 emails to the legislature, your collective voice was heard loud and clear. I’d like to thank my Realtor® family for the amazing advocacy you continue to display.”

PAR issued a Call-to-Action to its members last week, asking them to contact their House representatives in support of the legislation.

“We saw a tremendous response from Realtors® in just a few days. PAR is grateful to Rep. Polinchock and the other 124 state representatives who supported this bill,” said PAR President Bill Festa. “They understand how severely real estate has been curtailed in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that most other states have been safely conducting real estate throughout this crisis.”

While that debate was occurring, the Department of State issued further guidance on what in-person real estate activity is currently permitted and appearing to outline how the real estate industry would likely be reopened regionally under Gov. Tom Wolf’s red-yellow-green plan.

“This document does clarify a few of the questions which were raised in a previous memo from the Department of State, but now creates new questions and still completely omits both commercial and rental real estate,” said PAR Director of Law and Policy Hank Lerner. “PAR is continuing to seek additional information regarding this guidance.”

“The association believes a fractured reopening of the real estate industry will continue to impede consumers’ abilities to purchase homes where they want to live. Requiring the industry to reopen by region would create a very confusing situation for clients. We know that real estate is being conducted safely in almost every other state in the country,” Festa said. “That’s why PAR will continue to support Rep. Polinchock’s efforts to pass HB 2412, which would allow for the uniform reopening of real estate across the state.”

“We work with clients through many of life’s milestones – the arrival of a new baby, a newly married couple, accepting a new job, retirees looking to downsize, a couple going through a divorce, or the loss of a loved one. Many of these circumstances require the buying and or selling of their homes and the proposed staggered reopening will cause more financial hardships for them.”

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