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NC REALTORS® Coronavirus Information

NC REALTORS® has developed this page which includes a long list of resources and content to give you a better understanding on everything going on during this crisis. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

Virus Resources
Federal Unemployment and Small Business Assistance

Unemployment Benefits for REALTORS®
The CARES Act authorized additional unemployment benefits that independent contractors MAY be eligible for. NAR championed this component of the legislation because of the unique benefit that it may provide to REALTOR® members.  A key provision in the law creates a temporary “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” program that extends unemployment benefits to those not traditionally eligible, including self-employed individuals.

PLEASE NOTE: At this time, independent contractors are NOT currently able to file for unemployment benefits through the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. They are awaiting further guidance from the US Department of Labor as North Carolina law does not currently allow independent contractors to receive benefits through the system. NC REALTORS® staff is in constant communication with state officials and will provide more information as soon as it is available.

The North Carolina Employment Security Commission has launched a COVID-19 resource page with information about their programs. It currently includes the following guidance for independent contractors.

Independent contractors and self-employed workers are not typically eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. However, these individuals may qualify for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance available as a result of COVID-19. The Division of Employment Security is awaiting guidance from the federal government to implement the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

Small Business Administration Programs
As part of the CARES Act multiple programs through the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) were authorized. The legislation provides funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, modifies the existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and provides immediate loan payment relief for current SBA 7(a) borrowers. Below are resources regarding each of these programs.

PLEASE NOTE: The Paycheck Protection Program is not currently active for independent contractors while additional rules are put in place by the US Department of Labor. Applications for independent contractors are expected to be available on April 10.

 

Business Resources

Resources for Employers and Associations
NAR continues to gather other resources for brokerages and associations regarding how to address issues facing employees during this time. This guidance is in addition to the other information about federal programs.


General Business Resources

These sites include a whole host of resources developed by federal and state-focused organizations and government entities. As they are not focused on one specific topic, they are included as general business resources. Check out the following sections for more detailed information about specific programs


Federal Resources

Other Resources

North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program: Supports North Carolina small businesses and family farms as they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. This rapid recovery loan helps small businesses bridge the gap between when crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover.

Hope Inside COVID-19: HOPE Inside Disaster is the only financial emergency preparedness and recovery service in the country, created following the tragic events of 9/11. In partnership with FEMA, Operation HOPE pioneered the new federal policy space of emergency disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Through partnerships with the American Red Cross, FEMA, and industry leaders, our teams

 

NAR Resources

NAR Cancels Upcoming Events

On March 5, the National Association of REALTORS® announced that it will not hold two conferences scheduled to take place in California later this month. NAR’s Joint AE Institute (March 13-16 in San Diego) and REALTOR® Broker Summit (March 31-April 1 in Los Angeles) will not be held as planned in response to coronavirus concerns, particularly those emerging on the West Coast of the United States. NAR is considering alternatives and potential avenues through which to reschedule, relocate or redesign these conferences later in 2020. NAR will announce decisions about additional upcoming events as those determinations are made in the coming weeks.

NAR Resource Links

REALTOR® Party Advocacy

 

 

Current Closures and Shelter Orders

State of North Carolina (March 27) 

Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 121 which implements a statewide “shelter in place” directive, effective Monday, March 30 at 5:00 PM. This order will remain in effect for thirty (30) days unless otherwise repealed. While this is a significant measure, it is a vital step in the effort to assist in controlling the spread of COVID-19. The full list of measures implemented in Executive Order 121 are found here.

Included in section 25 of the order, real estate services, including brokerage, appraisal and title services, ARE included under essential business operations. This is a HUGE win for our industry, our clients, and the state economy. We sincerely appreciate the support shown by Governor Cooper through this order!

Here is the specific language of Section 25 on page 8 of the order:

Professional services. Professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, insurance services, professional engineering and architectural services, land surveying services, real estate services (including brokerage, appraisal and title services) and tax preparation services.


Local governments across the state have begun to issue shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders for residents and businesses within their jurisdictions. Each of these orders is different and do not include the same allowances for “essential business activities.” In some, only certain parts of the real estate industry, like appraisals and title work, are allowed, while in others, there are no restrictions.

NC REALTORS® staff is monitoring each order issued and working with the local associations in the affected areas. Please continue to monitor this page, as well as email updates like the STATUS UPDATE for more information as it becomes available.

FAQs

Read answers to questions from members across the state regarding the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.ncrealtors.org/covid-19-qa/

Finally, do not panic, stay informed, and use your best judgment. The situation is rapidly changing, so focus on putting policies and procedures in place to keep your employees informed, safe, and to avoid business disruption in the event the situation worsens.

NC REALTORS® COVID-19 Status Updates

In light of the current situation, it is important that we provide you with updates on the goings-on in the state’s real estate industry. So, we created the STATUS UPDATE page that we will update every time we feel that it is necessary to get you important information. View this information here

Selling Homes From Home

Need tips on how to keep your business thriving in the midst of social distancing? We will keep you updated with tips and tricks on how to build your business during the present crisis.

Webinars

  • NAR Leadership Live
    Tune Wednesday, April 8 at 1PM. Join NAR Leaders for Leadership Live, a Facebook Live event where NAR Leaders and industry experts will answer your questions and address your concerns during this interactive and impactful exchange. Register now>>

Other Resources

Postponed Events and Current Status

In response to the growing public health concern regarding the COVID-19 virus, NC REALTORS® is taking the precautionary step to postpone all planned events and suspend non-essential travel for staff and volunteers until Friday, April 17.

This decision is based on the announcement from health officials that multiple cases of the virus have been confirmed in North Carolina and out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our REALTOR community.

View a full list of postponed events here

March 18, 2020 Updates

Health and Safety
With careful hygiene and interaction limits, we can help to limit the spread of this virus. We encourage you to follow all guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the NC Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and limit your contact with persons in high risk categories.
    • Avoid gatherings with more than 10 people and limit your social interactions to the fullest extent possible.

NC REALTORS® Operations
While the full impact of this event on the state’s real estate industry is still unknown, it is important to remember that all aspects of our lives will be affected in some way. NC REALTORS® is continuing its operations with staff working remotely to ensure that we maintain the same level of service to our members. Our offices are currently closed to members and guests until at least the end of March. Local associations are generally following the same guidance but please make sure to reach out to your local AEs for more information.

Market Perspective
While there are difficult times ahead, our industry is in a strong place and will continue to move forward. In response to the economic turmoil, the Federal Reserve dramatically reduced interest rates last week. With mortgage rates already at historically low levels, economists believe that they will not drop much further.

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, during the last recession, real estate was on “wobbly ground with loose lending and too much supply. Today, there is no subprime lending and too little supply. The real estate market will hold on much better.”

For more information, we have developed a “How is the coronavirus affecting North Carolina’s real estate industry?”article and resource guide.

Disrupted Transactions
NC REALTORS® is exploring possible options to draft language that could apply to transactions that cannot move forward due to COVID-19. Any potential form will likely be very broad and would need to be reviewed and customized based on specific transactional considerations. Any REALTOR® with immediate transactional needs should consider consulting with their closing attorney to draft language for that particular transaction.

At The State Level
The NC Real Estate Commission is currently working on emergency rules to allow for education extensions and allowances for greater on-line education access. More information will be distributed on the NC REALTORS® website and through email as it becomes available.

Additionally, the NC REALTORS® Government Affairs team is monitoring the activities of registers of deeds and the court system to determine any challenges to the marketplace and are working with the Governor and the counties to keep operations running. We have also provided further information to the Property Management Division about the challenges facing evictions and foreclosure proceedings given the limiting of the court calendars around the state.

At The Federal Level
NAR continues to communicate with lawmakers regarding the impact that independent contractors are feeling during this crisis. Legislation was passed by the House of Representatives and is currently being considered by the Senate. More information is available on nar.realtor.

NC REALTORS® 2020 President Maren Brisson-Kuester CoronaVirus Update: March 18, 2020

 

Statement from Andrea Bushnell, NC REALTORS® Chief Executive Officer: March 13, 2020

 


In response to the growing public health concern regarding the COVID-19 virus, NC REALTORS® is taking the precautionary step to postpone all planned events and suspend non-essential travel for staff and volunteers until Friday, April 17.

This decision is based on the announcement from health officials that multiple cases of the virus have been confirmed in North Carolina and out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our REALTOR® community.

Staff will continue to closely monitor the situation. Every two weeks during this period we will decide if future events should be postponed.

This decision follows similar decisions from NAR and other organizations around the country. We have posted a list of postponed events and their current status.

If you are currently registered for an event during this period, you will receive additional information as it is available.

We all hope that this risk will pass in the near future. This decision is intended to ensure we do not inadvertently expose our employees and volunteers nor contribute to the spread of the virus.



Be Epic. Be an NC REALTOR®.