Do I Still Need to Wear a Mask to Showings? COVID-19 Updates

(5/28) The state’s business restrictions will be lifted on 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 31. Find out how this impacts real estate.

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Emergency Rental Assistance Program Applications

(5/10) Pennsylvania counties have launched the Emergency Rental Assistance Program approved by the passage of the second federal stimulus bill in late December. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs (rev. 5/31/2021)

Most COVID-related rules affecting real estate have been rescinded by the state and Federal governments**. As of May 31, 2021, there are two primary orders in place that are likely to impact your practice:

** Remember that a few municipal governments in PA still have some local restrictions on the books - often related to evictions. And of course there are still numerous rules in place covering specific types of interactions (e.g., wearing masks in health care facilities or on planes).

Pennsylvania's business mitigations orders expired on May 31, which means that businesses are permitted (but not obligated) to operate as though it's "business as usual" - except for continued compliance with the mask order that is still in place. Businesses, of course, are still permitted to impose additional restrictions if they care to (as is always the case), and it is certainly possible that clients - particularly sellers - may wish to set certain restrictions as part of their business relationship.

Please read through our current FAQ for more information. These materials have been updated to reflect the current status of rules & restrictions. If there's something you remember hearing about that doesn't show up here, then it's likely not in place any longer.

Are masks still required?

What should we do about masks at listed properties?

Are there special rules for open houses?

Are there special rules for showings?

How would I know who is and isn't fully vaccinated?

Could sellers refuse to let individuals into a property if they have not been vaccinated (agents, buyers, inspectors, etc.)?

Does HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) apply to real estate transactions?

What rules do I have to follow in my real estate office?

How should we handle positive COVID-19 tests?

Is the eviction moratorium still in place?

Forms and Extension FAQs (rev. 5/15/2021)

Does PAR have a form to deal with transactional delays?

Who is the “notifying party” in the bottom section of PAR Form COVID?

Does PAR have a form to help protect against COVID-related liability issues?

Does PAR have suggested best practices to facilitate in-person real estate activities where they are permitted?

Are agents required to screen clients, customers and vendors for COVID-related symptoms?

Licensing and Education FAQs (rev. 11/25/2020)

What if I did not renew my license prior to the extended deadline of August 29, 2020?

How can I complete my continuing education (CE) credits for this renewal cycle?

Will new salesperson candidates be able to complete their pre-license education and take their licensing exam?

Will broker candidates be able to complete their required education and take the broker exam?

Vaccine FAQs (5/15/2021)

Can brokers require that their workers get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Can brokers require agents to get vaccinated, even though most work as independent contractors?

Do brokers have to provide disability-based exceptions to a mandatory vaccine policy?

Do brokers have to provide religious-based exceptions to a mandatory vaccine policy?

Can brokers require proof of vaccination?

But...HIPAA!

Could a broker run a vaccination clinic at the office to get agents and employees vaccinated?

Financial FAQs

(1/22) The Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs have been, and continue to be, problematic and confusing for many Realtors®. PAR has provided information regarding unemployment on its website as it has become available. Many members are looking for answers to various scenarios in their individual businesses. Although it is difficult to get answers to specific and unique member application questions, general scenario themes emerged.

Based on the many requests from members for answers to their eligibility for PUA, PAR forwarded the some of the most common questions received via social member and through PAR’s Legal Hotline. Recently, the state’s Department of Labor and Industry responded to PAR’s request for answers and clarification. Those questions and answers from the Department of Labor and Industry follow.

As an independent contractor, do I qualify for any state and/or federal benefits if I am unable to work?

As a Realtor®, am I eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?

Now that there are no real estate-specific practice restriction, will Realtors® still be able to collect PUA or will they be forced to work? 

When is my income earned?

Can I still file for unemployment compensation if I am showing homes again, but not receiving commissions until later? Do I indicate unemployed unless I’ve received a commission?

How do I determine net income when my commission checks are sporadic and my expenses fluctuate throughout the year? How do I figure hourly earnings since my net income varies due to timing of commissions and expenses incurred in arriving at net income?

If I am a Realtor®, but I also have a second W-2 job, am I eligible for PUA? 

If I am a Realtor®, and I receive Social Security benefits, am I eligible for PUA? 

If I am a Realtor®, and I receive a pension, retirement or annuity payment, am I eligible for PUA? 

For someone who recently became a Realtor® and has always had a W-2 in the past, should they apply for PUA or traditional unemployment compensation? 

As a Realtor®, what earnings history should I be using? My latest filed taxes are from 2018, I have my 1099 from 2019, but I’ve also earned (and lost) some commissions in 2020? 

What if I made a huge mistake when completing my PUA application, but I’m unable to edit my claim online and the phone number is a busy signal? How can I correct this mistake?

The PUA application asks for an employment history. How does this apply since we are independent contractors? It asks about hours, schedule, salary, etc. which are not set or steady for Realtors®.

The PUA application asks for documentation that we cannot work. What documentation is needed? Where would we find it? 

What is considered income for the PUA claim – does Social Security, pension or child support and alimony constitute income?

When you file for weekly benefits, do you have to do the whole certification process again?

When will the PUA program end?

Latest Articles Related to Coronavirus

Eviction Proceeding Timelines Modified

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made emergency rule changes to some of the timelines relating to residential eviction proceedings before magisterial district judges. These modified rules went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. After seeking public comment and additional feedback on the modified rules, the Supreme Court recently announced it is modifying the timelines back to their original periods effective Jan. 1, 2022.

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General Assembly Approves Resolution to End Emergency Declaration

Along with this measure, the legislature also passed House Bill 854 on June 9, with new language extending all of the regulatory waivers that had been issued under the emergency order. Those waivers, including one that allow livestreamed education courses to be counted under the rules applicable to in-person courses, are now extended to Sept. 30. HB854 was approved by both the Senate and House of Representatives and now moves to the governor’s desk for his signature.

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Realtors® Show Entrepreneurial Spirit Through Pandemic Challenges

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Do I Still Need to Wear a Mask to Showings? COVID-19 Updates

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New Mask Guidance a Real Shot in the Arm

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All Pennsylvania Residents Will Be Eligible for COVID Vaccinations by Mid-April

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Guidance for the Vaccinated – An Update

Our recommendation – consistent with the CDC guidance and amended Pennsylvania order – is that real estate licensees should continue to wear masks when interacting with clients regardless of the setting.

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State and Federal Tax Filing Changes Announced

Federal and state income tax filing due dates were both extended last week but these extensions do not apply to the estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021.

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Coronavirus Resources for Property Owners

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