As we continue to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 situation, we want to share with you some important updates and resources relevant to your real estate business.
Emergency Orders Impacting Non-Essential Establishments
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has issued Emergency Order 07-20 directing all non-essential retail and commercial establishments to close by 9:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020. Below is a link to the emergency order and a video:
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has also ordered all non-essential establishments in Broward and Palm Beach Counties to close soon. Click Here to access the Executive Order.
We have received many phone calls and emails today asking for clarification as to how this would impact specific aspects of the real estate industry. In an effort to assist our members, we’re offering the following general guidance after consulting with legal professionals; however, we still encourage brokers to seek advice from their own legal counsel, as opinions can vary with other factors.
Florida Realtors® also issued a helpful legal update that you can watch here.
Effects of MDC’s Emergency Order 07-20 Effect on REALTORS®:
- All real estate offices in Miami-Dade County should be closed to the public. No open houses should be conducted in-person during this emergency time period.
- Brokers, agents and employees may be onsite to facilitate services related to legally mandated activities associated with a real estate contract, as per paragraph 2(t) of the order:“Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities”Brokers are urged to implement social distancing practices, such as keeping six feet between persons and limiting group size to less than ten people. The more you can do virtually, the better.Note also included in the order, essential businesses that may stay open:
- Under 2(gg), “Any business that is interacting with customers solely through electronic or telephonic means, and delivering products via mailing, shipping, or delivery services” may continue to operate.
Can Realtors continue showing properties under this order?
This is where legal opinions vary, and brokers need to determine their own office policy for showings. When evaluating your decision, please consider all necessary precautions, as the next step could be to “shelter in place” if the virus continues to spread.
Important Update from MIAMI REALTORS® Legal Counsel Ben Solomon:
Real Estate Closings Continue
The Miami Dade County Clerk of Court, Harvey Ruvin, confirmed this morning that the County Recorder’s Office is still open online for deeds and other important documents to be recorded in the public records. Mr. Ruvin stated that the County has an emergency staff rotation in place that will continue to provide all critical services in connection with such online recording throughout this crisis. Banks are also still lending and have continued to fund and close on real estate transactions throughout the week. Title insurance is also still being issued by underwriters and agents. As such, all real estate transactions and closings are permitted to continue at this time if the parties are willing and able.
- Temporarily Off Market time limitation has been extended from 30 to 90 days. The required Status Change Form has been updated and must be signed by Sellers, Broker and Agent and submitted to MLS@Miamire.com. The updated form can be found at Miamirealtors.com/MLS. Please NOTE: Days on Market (DOM) is suspended for this status.
- Both Public and Broker Open Houses are temporarily suspended pursuant to local COVID-19 Restrictions. The capability to add/edit either type of Open House has been temporarily removed from your MLS and will be reinstated once the restrictions have been lifted. All listings on either one of our Open House websites will be removed this evening.
- Consumers visiting our Open House website will be prompted to visit our consumer search website at MiamiMLSOnline.com in 20 languages and click on the virtual Tour link in the listing. Consumers can then contact the agent directly from the website via email or phone for more information.
- MIAMI MLS has enabled an additional choice in the Showing Instruction dropdown menu: Virtual Showings
- MIAMI MLS has enabled both Video and Virtual Tour capability and each will be designated in that field by an appropriate icon – these must be unbranded versions only
- MIAMI launched Homesnap Stories on March 19, 2020 as an additional service from Homesnap Pro that is available FREE to all MIAMI Members. Homesnap Stories enables MIAMI members to supplement in-person open houses and showing appointments with video. Using Stories, members can showcase their personality and customize a walkthrough of any of their active listings. Homesnap Stories include the ability to add voiceover that points out the important selling features, text, emojis, background music, and even augmented reality features to include 3-D effects. Members can also expand a Story’s reach by sharing it to Facebook and Instagram in a single tap.To set up your FREE Homesnap Pro Account: https://bit.ly/HomeSnapIntro
Instructions and Best Practices for Homesnap Stories can be found at: https://blog.homesnap.com/introducing-homesnap-stories/
Real Estate License Renewal Deadline Extended
The March 31, 2020 renewal deadline for real estate licensees has been extended to April 30, 2020. No late fee will be assessed on an eligible license renewal during this period.
NEW: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Extension Addendum to Contract
Florida Realtors released a new contract extension addendum that allows for time periods and dates to be extended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Realtors who have questions are encouraged to call Florida Realtors Legal Hotline.
IRS Extends Payment Deadline to July 15, Filing Deadline Still April 15
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns remains April 15, 2020. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible. For those who can’t file by the April 15, 2020 deadline, the IRS reminds individual taxpayers that everyone is eligible to request a six-month extension to file their return. Click here for more information.
MIAMI Realtors COVID-19 Updates
While we are working to provide you the most up-to-date information, the situation is rapidly evolving.
Access latest information and updates at miamirealtors.com/coronavirus and in the MIAMI REALTORS Government Affairs & Housing Facebook group.