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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.

Federal Unemployment and Small Business Assistance

Unemployment Benefits for REALTORS®
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law on March 27, 2020, provides relief to families, small businesses, and individuals who are self-employed and independent contractors. 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.

On April 23, 2020, the NC Division of Employment Security unveiled information regarding the roll-out of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for North Carolina independent contractors and self-employed workers who are out of work as a result of COVID-19.

Beginning April 24, 2020, individuals will be able to apply for PUA through des.nc.gov.

NC REALTORS® has put together a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Q&A. We encourage you to read this carefully before submitting your unemployment application.

You can find additional information about unemployment on the NC Division of Employment Security’s website including their updated information page about PUA applications, payments, and filing tips.

NAR has provided additional information in these Coronavirus: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance FAQs.

 

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.

NEW NAR VIDEO on PUA: Watch here
Applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) can prove to be a challenging puzzle. In this video, two labor and employment attorneys and two REALTORS® share their expertise and offer advice on the unemployment application process.

Virus Resources
Commercial REALTOR® Resources

NEW Extended IRS Deadlines Apply to 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges and Opportunity Funds

The U.S. Treasury and IRS, at the urging of NAR and its affiliates, announced last week tax deadline extensions applicable to 1031 like-kind exchanges and opportunity fund investments that are already underway, as well as deadline relief for quarterly estimated tax filers. If an investor has taken the first step of a like-kind exchange by selling the old property, and either the 45-day or the 180-day deadline falls between April 1 and July 15, the deadline has now been extended to July 15. If an investor who sold a capital asset planned to roll over the gain into an Opportunity Fund and the 180-day deadline to do so falls between April 1 and July 15, they can now make the investment as late as July 15.
 

As a result of the IRS’ earlier notice of deadline extensions, the deadline for first quarter estimated tax payments was already extended to July 15. But before this new IRS deadline relief notice was released yesterday, second quarter estimated payments were still due on June 15, meaning that the second quarter payments were due before the first. Now, both first quarter AND second quarter estimated tax payments are due at the same time, on July 15, 2020, for those who file quarterly.

 

NAR Coronavirus Guidance: Commercial Real Estate
NAR has developed a resource page specifically tailored to commercial REALTORS®. They regularly update the links so check back often.

 

April 2020 Commercial Real Estate Market Trends and Outlook

This latest report shows the very early impact of the coronavirus pandemic on commercial real estate.

 

NAR Resources for Property Owners

This is an exhaustive list of resources which are of particular benefit to property owners and commercial practitioners who represent them.

 

CCIM COVID-19 Resources and Guidance

IREM COVID-19 resources and information for property managers 


CARES ACT BUSINESS RESOURCES FOR COMMERCIAL PRACTITIONERS
Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) earlier this year, providing a $2 trillion economic relief package. Below are specific resources beneficial to the commercial real estate industry; or view a comprehensive look at all the provisions in the bill.

Property Management Resources

NEW NC REALTORS® engages with Chief Justice regarding eviction proceedings in North Carolina

Following Chief Justice Berry’s initial order on March 15 dictating the procedures of the state court system during this time, NC REALTORS® Government Affairs team has engaged with her office to receive needed clarification regarding the order’s prohibition on non-essential activities, including summary ejectments. We were able to receive important information that the order did not prohibit ejectment proceedings for health and safety reasons. We continue our engagement with her office in light of her subsequent orders extending the court system limitations until June 1.

 

We have also engaged with industry partners, most notably the Apartment Association of NC, to request that the Chief Justice issue additional guidance further reinforcing the allowable evictions during this period, following information of “rent strikes” being distributed at properties around the state. Our joint letter can be found here.

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 Institute of Real Estate Management

National Apartment Association

National Association of Residential Property Managers

 NAR Frequently Asked Questions: Property Managers

The full FAQ on Coronavirus Advocacy can be found at https://www.nar.realtor/political-advocacy/coronavirus-advocacy-faqs-re-transactions-independent-contractors-nar-grants

I was in the middle on an eviction for failure to pay of a tenant in my single- family rental property. Now that all evictions are halted, how do I pay my mortgage?

Your mortgage may be covered by the moratorium on foreclosure, which applies to all federal mortgage (FHA, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae), but hopefully it won’t get to that. You may also be eligible for mortgage forbearance. That means that your payments are frozen while under the forbearance period. You must contact your servicer to request forbearance, though. There are no fees and after the forbearance period you can request a modification to have the missed payments extended onto your payment term. NAR has worked with a coalition of organizations(link is external) to lobby for security in all of the real estate waterfall. We are trying to ensure that when evictions are stopped for tenants, relief is provided for property owners.

 

What relief is provided for renters?

Renters in properties that have a federal mortgage are entitled to a 120-day moratorium on eviction. Note that this does NOT eliminate the responsibility to pay. Renters should contact their property owner to develop a payment plan. At the end of the 120 days, all past rent will be due, if no other payment plan agreed to with their landlord.

So my renters do not have to pay their rent?

The eviction moratorium does not relieve renters from the responsibility to pay rent. The lease remains in place. That said, tenants cannot be evicted for failure to pay, or charged fees or interest on late payments during this time, if they are subject to the moratorium. They will be responsible for all rent payments at the end of the prohibition. You should be clear in explaining this to residents, and you will want to consider working with them on repayment plans now. Be mindful of fair housing laws, and ensure you are offering the same options to all residents.

What provisions apply to single-family rentals?

Owners of single-family rentals are eligible for the same forbearance as homeowners, if they have some federally related loan (FHA, VA, RHS, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae). These same owners are also required to halt evictions for 120 days.

If an owner of a small number of rental properties suffers a reduction of income due to the coronavirus, does he or she meet the definition of having “adverse financial consequences” to allow them to take a “coronavirus-related distribution” that qualifies for the tax-favored treatment?

 Until we get an official interpretation from Treasury and IRS as to what constitutes “adverse financial consequences” we will not know for sure. By its literal meaning, adverse financial consequences could arguably be even $1 less in income due to tenants not paying rent due to the shutdown. However, it is possible that the regulations would not recognize the ownership of a small number of rental properties as meeting the definition of a business. We hope that the regulations will be liberal in their interpretation, but until they are released, we cannot say for sure.

Is there any other tax relief I am eligible for?
Owners of commercial and multifamily rental real estate whose primary business is owning/managing that property may be eligible for a new provision in the CARES Act that allows businesses to carry back tax losses against earlier years when tax was paid. Specifically, the bill allows businesses to carry back net operating losses from 2018, 2019 or 2020 against profitable years, up to five years, and get immediate refunds. The current taxable income limitation is also temporarily removed to allow a net operating loss to fully offset income.

Are commercial and multifamily owners eligible for any other programs?

Property owners may also be eligible for some of the programs offered by the Small Business Administration. A rental housing provider that qualifies as a small business and operates in a state with a Presidential declaration of disaster is eligible for SBA-sponsored Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and possibly also the Payroll Protection program. For additional information, please visit our Coronavirus SBA CARES Act FAQs page.  

 NAR recognizes the impact mandated closures will have on businesses throughout the country, and how that will impact the commercial real estate market, as well as the landlords and property managers who work with those businesses. NAR is working with a coalition of other industry groups, including the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Real Estate Roundtable, the National Association of REITS, the National Restaurant Association and the National Apartment Association to advocate for a “Federal Business Interruption and Workers’ Protection Recovery Fund.” Funded by the federal government, it would create a pathway for businesses impacted by the crisis to get assistance and liquidity – regardless of if it was already covered by a business interruption insurance policy or not. NAR will continue to advocate for this and other holistic solutions to the crisis in relief measures considered by the federal government.

 

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

Phase 2 – What does it mean for you?

On Wednesday, Governor Cooper released Executive Order 141 “Easing Restrictions on Travel, Business Operations, and Mass Gatherings: Phase 2.” This order implements the next round of re-opening of the state’s economy as part of the Governor’s three phase plan. It comes about two weeks after Phase 1 was implemented. Phase 2 will go into effect at 5PM today (Friday, May 22).

Under Phase 2, the initial state stay-at-home order is lifted, meaning that business activity, including those not originally designated as essential can now operate. Remote work is still strongly encouraged.

Since real estate was designated as essential in the original order, and most more restrictive local orders have expired, this does mean that real estate activities are allowed, provided that you continue to abide by ALL health and safety guidelines (social distancing, mass gathering limitations, and sanitization protocols). Make sure to check out NC REALTORS® best practices guidelines for more information.

Here are some other key parts of Phase 2:

  • Face coverings are recommended for use in all public settings, including grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail businesses. Face coverings are recommended for use outdoors where 6 feet of distance is not possible.
  • Restaurants can reopen dining rooms but at 50% capacity and social distancing for diners enforced.
  • Salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors and other personal care and grooming businesses can reopen at 50% capacity.
  • Retail stores must limit customers to 50% of capacity, no more than 12 customers per 1,000 square feet. They should mark 6-foot intervals to allow for social distancing in lines and other high-traffic areas.
  • Swimming pools can open at 50% capacity.
  • People can gather in small groups of no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors.
  • Bars, nightclubs, gyms and other indoor fitness facilities, as well as public playgrounds and entertainment venues (movie theaters, bowling alleys, etc.) remain closed.

Phase 2 is expected to remain in effect for roughly five weeks, currently estimated at June 26, but it could be shortened or extended based on current health data.

Local governments are able to enforce more restrictive guidelines than the state, but we have yet to see that occurring in most areas.

NC REALTORS® will continue to review the Order to determine any additional requirements for members and local associations. As always, please make sure to follow all health and safety guidelines regardless of if you are allowed to be in public.


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.To view a full list of current professional development options, visit the Education Roundup page

Webinars

NC REALTORS® is working hard to bring you the most up to date information and training to help you succeed in this new real estate environment. We are providing both LIVE and On-Demand webinars, along with recordings of past webinars for you to watch when it is most convenient for you.

To view an up to date list of upcoming Webinars, visit the Education Roundup page.

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®.