Office hours: No-contact, online purchase pickup Tues 1:30-4:30, phone/email service 8-4:30 M-F. In-person events suspended through 6/30/21.

During these uncertain times, Minneapolis Area REALTORS® is providing REALTORS® with the information they need to safely operate their business while protecting health and well-being. In addition, MAR is taking several precautionary steps in line with CDC recommended guidelines to ensure continuity in its operations while also helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to information on MAR’s business operations and learning opportunities, this page also has reports on how the pandemic is impacting the Twin Cities housing market, legislative updates, and links to federal, state and industry resources.

MAR Business Operations

Following CDC recommendations for the protection of our members and staff, MAR has extended the Board-approved cancellations of all in-person classes, meetings and events through June 30, 2021. Our office will be closed while staff works remotely, available M-F, 8:-4:30.

Orders placed on our online store will be available through contact-free pick-up with limited hours. Staff will use the front vestibule to place purchased items such as lockboxes or signage to avoid person-to-person contact. Payments for store items and MLS fees must be made online or by phone. Membership applications and forms need to be submitted electronically.

Members are asked to not visit MAR if:
• they are ill
• believe that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus
• have visited countries where the CDC has issued travel warnings or have recently been on a cruise ship

MAR is providing frequent updates to members via email, social media and this resource page

Open Houses/Showings Guidance

(Nov 23, 2020 UPDATE) As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, MAR urges its members to follow these guidelines to keep consumers and Realtors® safe and healthy. For more detailed information about these guidelines click here.

The latest recommendations for showings/open houses include:

• Requiring workers and customers to wash or sanitize hands before and after their visit
• Providing hand washing stations or 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Requiring cloth face mask coverings
• Limiting the amount of time and people allowed in the property
• Ensuring workers and customers engage in social distancing
• Leaving inside doors and lights on to limit touch
• Disinfecting home before and after each showing/open house
• Use virtual technology such as smart phone videos or live video chats to walk buyers through a property

Download the free COVIDaware MN app to get notified if you have been near someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

(Nov 19, 2020 UPDATE) Emergency Executive Order 20-99 Implementing a Four Week Dial Back on Certain Activities to Slow the Spread of COVID-19. Individuals are permitted to move to a new home or place of residence, provided that they follow MDH and CDC guidelines to the maximum extent possible.

(July 24, 2020 UPDATE) MNR Updated Showing & Open House Considerations

(May 21, 2020 UPDATE) The latest guidance from Minnesota Realtors® on real estate in Minnesota is that it may continue to operate in the same manner as provided in the now expired Governor’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order 20-48. This is due to Executive Order 20-56 which allows Critical Sector businesses such as real estate to conduct transactions (to the maximum extent possible) in adherence with state and federal health and safety guidelines. How that impacts open houses is unclear, leaving it up to REALTORS® to decide if open houses are necessary and what precautions to take if they proceed. The MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has helpful information on what precautions to consider.

Addendum or Amendment or Purchase Agreement
Minnesota Realtors® has created an Addendum or Amendment to Purchase Agreement to assist members and their clients in extending Purchase Agreement deadlines where a COVID-19 related event inhibits a party’s ability to perform under their purchase agreement.

Links:
Minnesota REALTORS® COVID-19 resource page
NorthstarMLS COVID-19 Update
ShowingTime COVID-19 Update
ShowingTime COVID-19 Tips & Tricks Videos

Local Housing Market Updates

MAR has been tracking COVID-19’s impact on the local housing market since mid-March. The latest Twin Cities Weekly Housing Market Charts, prepared by David Arbit, MAR’s Director of Research and Economics, are featured in our weekly newsletter and on Market Data. He is available to answer your questions at davida@mplsrealtor.com or 952-988-3150.

Join David for a monthly presentation and discussion around the impact of COVID-19 on the real estate market. You will hear him speak about the most current data and trends, how it impacts current business in the real estate market and have an opportunity to ask questions. Register here.

Although there has been a decline in residential housing market activity since the onset of the coronavirus in Minnesota, transactions are still occurring. And the strong market that preceded the crisis bodes well for a relatively quick recovery once the crisis is over. Low interest rates combined with overall tight supply and strong demand (until recently) are likely to prevent major declines in home prices. Home prices rose during 5 of the last 6 recessions.

MAR weekly market updates can be found here.

Other Links:
Harvard University Joint Center for Housing
Minnesota DEED Employment Stats
• Minnesota DEED Employment Dashboard
U of M Greater Minnesota Economy Update

Education & Professional Development

MAR is continuing to offer virtual CE classes and non-CE webinars following the Executive Committee’s decision to suspend all in person gatherings.  We encourage you to use the following options for your education and professional development:

Online CE courses offered by MAR at significant discounts
• Online CE courses at The CE Shop
• Free, non-CE webinars can be found on our home page
NAR’s Right Tools, Right Now – new and existing projects and services available for free or at significant discounts to REALTORS and REALTOR Associations, including MAR. Offerings include webinars, education courses and timely market reports.
NAR’s Professional Development Directory

Pre-recorded non-CE webinars:
Habitat for Humanity Program

Government Response

We continue to track the latest government responses at local, state and federal levels. For more information, click here.

Employee/Business Assistance

(12.22.20) Congress approves COVID-19 Relief Package:

• Extends all unemployment assistance, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), through April 19, 2021, with a $300 weekly boost in payments through  March 14.
• Unemployment benefits are extended to the self-employed
• Provides an additional $284 billion for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and $20 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) grants
• Allows certain eligible businesses to receive a second PPP loan
• Creates a simplified forgiveness process for most PPP borrowers
• Allows for deductibility of business expenses paid for with PPP funds.

The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a list of Coronavirus Relief Options to help overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.  Please see multiple funding options for those seeking relief.

Links:
Local Unemployment Statistics 
IRS: Coronavirus Tax Relief
Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development
Minnesota Department of Revenue: Response to COVID-19
NAR FAQs – Unemployment Assistance
NAR FAQs – U.S. Small Business Administration Assistance
U.S. Small Business Administration Fact Sheet – Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Evictions/Forbearances/Foreclosures

(12.30.20) The Minnesota Department of Commerce and Minnesota Housing are alerting homeowners who have federally backed mortgage loans and who are facing financial hardships to apply now for mortgage relief to avoid foreclosure.

The deadline for mortgage relief applications for certain mortgages has been extended to February 28, 2021, but homeowners who may qualify should begin the process for application now. Call your mortgage lender or servicer immediately to determine if you are eligible for this assistance.  You can find a homeownership advisor near you today who provides free services to help you

(12.22.20) Congress approves COVID-19 Relief Package, including rental assistance, a fresh round of funding and simplified forgiveness for SBA loans, and more direct payments to Americans.

• Provides $25 billion to the states through Sept. 30, 2022, for rental assistance and allows landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants
• Includes payments for rent in arrears as well as utilities and other expenses related to housing
• Extends federal eviction ban through the end of January

federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is in effect from September 4, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The temporary moratorium on evictions extends vital protections to tens of millions of renters at risk of eviction for nonpayment of rent during the global pandemic.

Note the State vs Federal Eviction Moratorium Guide listed on mnrealtor.com.

We continue to track the latest updates on these topics. For more information, click here.

Links:

• HUD for Homeowners
• HUD for Renters
Protect Your Investment Brochure
Fannie Mae Approach to COVID-19
• Freddie Mac Guidance Related to COVID-19

NAR Guidance and Other Resources

The National Association of REALTORS® has a number of resources available for members to help them navigate these challenging times. Access the links below for the latest information.

NAR’s Federal Advocacy Responses to COVID-19: NAR’s Federal Advocacy team has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure the interests of REALTORS®, their families, consumers, and the entire real estate industry are protected in any federal action in response to COVID-19. On December 21, Congress passed a COVID-relief package, which also included an Omnibus spending bill for FY21, and some tax extenders. See summary of the major provisions of that bill impacting REALTORS®.

REALTOR® Resiliency Report: NAR’s weekly report describes how it is working to guide and support REALTORS® during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes the latest information on how to ensure your health and safety, the virus’ impact on the nation’s economy and the real estate industry, its impact on NAR activities, and what NAR is doing to help.

1-800 Hotline: NAR has set up a hotline for questions related to real estate, our response to COVID-19, questions about legislation, and other issues. Call  1-800-874-6500, open 8 -6 Monday–Friday.

Right Tools, Right Now: Through Right Tools, Right Now, NAR is making new and existing NAR products and services available for FREE or at significant discounts to REALTORS® and REALTOR® associations. These include webinars, education courses, market reports and digital tools to help with marketing your business. You can learn more here.

NAR’s main COVID-19 page is a great place to start. Additional web pages include the following:
CARES Act economic stimulus page is dedicated to information on how the $2 trillion economic relief package passed by Congress impacts REALTORS®
Commercial property page is dedicated to resources and updates for commercial members
Financial wellness page is dedicated to helping members with their financial decisions

FAQs on various topics to assist REALTORS® with their questions about how to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on themselves, their business and their clients.
NAR FAQs – Summary Guidance
NAR FAQs – Unemployment Assistance
NAR FAQs – Mortgage and Personal Finance
NAR FAQs – U.S. Small Business Administration Assistance

Other Industry Resources
Housing First Minnesota
MN Multi-Housing Association COVID-19 Resources
MN Mortgage Association

Health Resources
CDC Coronavirus Page
MN Dept of Health Coronavirus Guidance
MNSure