Guidance For Real Estate

On Tuesday, May 19 at 3 p.m., Gov. Tom Wolf issued an executive order that allows real estate to open on a statewide basis effective Tuesday, May 19 subject to certain guidelines.

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Real Estate in the Age of COVID-19: Suggested Best Practices

Licensees should attempt to perform activities remotely without contact whenever possible.

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Two New Forms For Use

The PAR Standard Forms Committee has also developed two forms for use during the COVID-19 pandemic: the COVID-19 Property Access Notice (Form COVID-PAN) and the COVID-19 Health Screening Acknowledgment (Form COVID-HSA).

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Unemployment Compensation

(4/18) The PA Department of Labor & Industry has published the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance application.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated based on information available as of 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 21.

PA Government Order FAQs

What in-person real estate activities are permitted in Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 state of emergency??

Can other services providers participating in a real estate transaction do business in-person?

How does the governor’s Stay at Home order affect real estate? Are any of the answers in this FAQ different in areas covered by that order?

Can I still do short term rentals?

Can buyers and sellers do things in-person even though a licensee can't?

My county has declared itself to be in the "yellow phase," even though the state hasn't. How does that affect my business?

Are in-person activities permitted for commercial transactions?

Are in-person activities permitted for residential leasing transactions?

What Personal Protective Equipment is required for real estate activities?

Transaction FAQs

Can I still hold open house events?

My client is demanding that I arrange a showing under terms that would violate state requirements. Am I legally or contractually obligated to do so?

What is a “virtual” showing or open house? Is it OK for an agent to visit a property to take pictures or stream a video walkthrough?

Can I hire a photographer or videographer to go to my listing and get photo/video for a virtual tour?

What about vacant properties?

I’ve got this clever idea on how to interpret something to get the answer I want...

My broker is instructing me on what in-person services I can and cannot offer clients. But I’m an independent contractor; can she do that?

Can we do remote closings in Pennsylvania?

How should I be handling buyer deposits that are to be put in my escrow account?

Can I use a service provider who has gotten a waiver?

The rules say only three people at a time can participate in an in-person real estate service. Who counts as a person?

Forms and Extension FAQs

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 forms to facilitate in-person real estate activities where they are permitted?

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

Does PAR have a sample brokerage policy that brokers can adopt for their business?

Does HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) apply when using a health screening questionnaire (such as PAR Form COVID-HSA) about possible COVID-19 risk factors?

Licensing and Education FAQs

Will real estate licensees still need to renew their license by May 31?

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?

Business FAQs

Will MLSs be adjusting their rules and policies to account for the market disruption this is causing?

Can I open my real estate office?

Am I required to open my brokerage at this time if I do not want to?

PAR’s listing and buyer agency contracts all set specific end dates. Do these dates automatically extend if we are unable to service our clients for some time during this state of emergency?

Are brokers being "tested" by the state to see if they are following all these rules?

Financial FAQs

(5/22) Download the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: A Guide for Realtors® white paper for a more in-depth review of the application process and answers to additional questions.

Am I eligible for the economic impact payment from the IRS?

Where will the IRS send my economic impact payment?

What options are available if my business has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic?

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?

What information do I need to apply for unemployment compensation as an independent contractor?

Now that real estate services can be performed statewide on a limited basis, and previously, if a county was in the yellow-phase, should a real estate agent be filing weekly claims?

For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, what is considered “earned income”?

For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, what is considered “potential earnings?”

Should agents report gross or net earnings?

If a real estate agent received commissions only during some weeks of the shutdown, how should they account for it when filing for unemployment claims?

When filing for weekly benefits, are you required to complete the entire certification process again?

If someone is having difficulty logging into their account, or another issue, is email the best way to reach someone at the department?

If a real estate agent’s claim was approved, why would they get a message that shows a $0.00 payment?

Has it been announced when will the PUA program will end? Will it be when the governor lifts the order and lets agents return to work with restrictions, or when all restrictions are lifted?

Real Estate in the Age of COVID-19: Suggested Best Practices

Licensees should attempt to perform activities remotely without contact whenever possible.

Read More

Latest Articles Related to Coronavirus

Use More Realistic Photos that More Accurately Portray House

The COVID-19 pandemic has some buyers and sellers wanting to avoid the unnecessary exposure brought by a showing that could have been avoided had the buyers been fully aware of the layout of a home along with any defects that may exist.

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All Real Estate In Pennsylvania Reopened With New Guidance

On May 19, the Wolf administration issued new statewide real estate guidance that applies to all real estate transactions in Pennsylvania. Though it’s definitely not “business as usual” for Realtors®, this new guidance opens up the industry with uniform rules across all markets and eliminates much of the confusing and contradictory information that had been put out in previous documents.

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State Investigates Licensees Alleged to Have Violated Governor’s Closure Orders

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has begun investigating licensees perceived to have violated the governor’s orders. Investigations are being conducted by the Bureau of Enforcement and Investigations.

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House Passes HB 2412; PAR Urges Wolf to Sign the Bill

Pennsylvanians are encouraged to visit to contact Gov. Wolf to ask him to sign House Bill 2412 into law and re-open real estate in Pennsylvania.

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PAR Applauds Senate Vote on HB 2412; Urges House to Pass Bill

PAR has issued a Call-to-Action for Realtors® to contact their representative asking them to vote “yes” on House Bill 2412.

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PAR Outlines Discrepancies in State-Issued Guidance

PAR has sent a detailed outline to Governor Tom Wolf, highlighting the inconsistent and arbitrary guidance the state has provided for the real estate industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Mortgage Forbearance May Be Option for Struggling Homeowners

Many homeowners may be facing the challenge of making their next mortgage payment while being unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Central PA Realtors® Feeding Healthcare Workers

Realtors® at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services have donated money to help send lunches to the emergency room and COVID departments at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg Hospital.

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PAR Update on State’s Phased Reopen Plan for PA

PAR staff Hank Lerner, Esq., director of law and policy, and Alex Charlton, director of public policy and political affairs, provide an update on Gov. Tom Wolf’s announced plan for reopening businesses.

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Make Financial Plan for Real Estate Business Cycles

“What you may realize is that many of the virtual tools that we have relied upon during this time of social distancing will continue to come in handy even after we have migrated through this situation. Our business will forever be impacted and virtual engagement will find a permanent spot in our business toolbox,” according to Adorna Carroll, a real estate industry expert.

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Coronavirus Resources for Property Owners

The National Association of Realtors® has developed a guide for property owners including links to financial institutions, U.S. federal government agencies, mortgage servicers and more.

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