In-person gatherings suspended through 12/31/20. Office hours: VIRTUAL (phone, email) 8-4:30 M-F, NO CONTACT (online purchase pick-up) Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 and Thursdays 9-12:30.

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 December 31, 2020. Registrants for in-person gatherings during this period will be notified and refunded. Refunds typically appear on bank statements within 10 business days.

During this time with reduced hours at our physical location, the second set of doors will be locked with signage directing members online or to call us by phone to contact staff. 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

Guidance on REALTOR® Business Practices

(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, which has ended. 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. In addition, Minnesota Realtors has provided this memo on Showings & Open House Considerations during COVID-19.

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

Virtual showings:
There are other methods to show a home and keep buyers, sellers and REALTORS® safe. These include virtual showings technology that can take the buyer on a virtual journey, detailed smart phone videos or live video chats to walk buyers through a property.

NorthstarMLS Policies to Return to Normal July 1
Two temporary policy changes that NorthstarMLS enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will expire and the regular policies will return effective July 1. Read more here.

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
Showing Time COVID-19 Update
Showing Time 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 and the data has so far shown a decline in new listings and pending sales, with showings on the rebound. MAR’s Director of Research and Economics, David Arbit, posts these reports on MAR’s weekly newsletter and on this page on Mondays (see links below). He is also 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.
A link to the live meeting will be provided to registrants 30 minutes prior to the start time.

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 monthly market updates:
Monthly Housing Market Update 9-23-2020 & Presentation Slides 
Monthly Housing Market Update 8-20-2020 & Presentation Slides 
Monthly Housing Market Update 7-23-2020

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

As more businesses are re-opening, there are still restrictions on how many people can gather and the Executive Committee decided to mitigate the risk of having to shut down abruptly if an illness occurs. MAR is continuing to offer virtual CE classes and non-CE webinars.
During this time we encourage you to utilize 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

The U.S. Small Business Administration (EIDL) is taking applications for loans from businesses with 500 employees or fewer, including sole proprietors and independent contractors who have been negatively impacted by the crisis.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidance is available here. On this page you can find a link to the forgiveness application paperwork and an extensive amount of information regarding interim final rules.

The State of Minnesota also has a small business loan guarantee program for businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

Minnesota’s Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) announced Friday, April 24 that the agency has begun making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to people who are self-employed, independent contractors, and other eligible recipients who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. Read more here.

Links:
Coronavirus: The Lost Wages Assistance Program
Daily and Weekly Unemployment Insurance Statistics Dashboard
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

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 or use the MAR-branded version
Fannie Mae Approach to COVID-19
• Freddie Mac Guidance Related to COVID-19
• HUD Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium
• Minnesota Executive Order 20-14 Suspending Evictions & Writs of Recovery – In effect during the entirety of the Peace Time Emergency, through 9/11/2020 (Updated 8/12/2020)
Minnesota Executive Order 20-89 Extends Peace Time Emergency, Declared in 20-01, extended through 10/12/2020 (Updated 9/14/2020)

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.

REALTOR® Resiliency Report: NAR’s weekly report describes how it is working to guide and support REALTORS® during the coronavirus (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. https://www.nar.realtor/realtor-resiliency-report

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. Folks can dial and press 1 to speak with a representative. It’s open between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday–Friday. The number is 1-800-874-6500.

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 Website 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
MN Sure