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
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 have any of these symptoms:
• Difficulty breathing
• Loss of taste or smell
• Muscle pain
• Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
• Runny nose or congestion
• Sore throat
• 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.
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.
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.
Education & 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
The Minnesota Department of Commerce is now offering an online option for licensing candidates to take their pre-license examinations in real estate or insurance.
• Habitat for Humanity Program
(4.28.21) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau delayed the mandatory compliance date of the General Qualified Mortgage final rule from July 1, 2021 to October 1, 2022 to help ensure access to affordable mortgage credit, and preserve flexibility for consumers affected by COVID-19.
(3.11.21) Congress approves American Rescue Plan
(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.
• 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
(3.29.21) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is extending its nationwide eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021.
(2.25.21) FHFA Extends COVID-19 Forbearance Period and Foreclosure and REO Eviction Moratoriums. Aligns COVID-19 mortgage relief policies across the federal government. The moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only.
(2.16.21) The Biden Administration announced the extension of COVID-19 forbearance and foreclosure protections for homeowners. These protections were set to expire in March. The new actions will:
• Extend the foreclosure moratorium for homeowners through June 30, 2021
• Extend the mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window until June 30, 2021 for borrowers who wish to request forbearance
• Provide up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance, in three-month increments, for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30, 2020
(1.29.21) The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended (in an order signed on January 29, 2021) the residential eviction ban put in place under its Agency Order titled Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 (Order) until at least March 31, 2021.
(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. 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
We continue to track the latest updates on these topics. For more information, click here.
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