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On June 11, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) issued a reminder regarding the Safer at Home guidance for real estate businesses. In light of the various sources of guidance and versions of public health orders, DORA advises that real estate businesses and professionals review the Safer at Home: Additional Guidance for Real Estate Brokers & Servicers document, which responds to frequently asked questions related to real estate services.
Minnesota Department of Commerce extends certain licensing application deadlines for insurance producers and real estate brokers
On May 27, the Minnesota Department of Commerce issued an order modifying certain regulatory deadlines as set forth in Regulatory Guidance 20-29, 20-30, 20-31, 20-32, and 20-33. Guidance 20-29 through 20-32 extends the deadlines for insurance producer and adjuster renewal applications, and Guidance 20-33 extends the deadline for certain real estate broker license applicants to complete their applications.
On May 19, Washington issued guidelines for the real estate industry during Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. Among other things, the guidelines prohibit in-person meetings with customers except when necessary to view a property or sign documents and limit attendance at on-site activities—such as such as appraisals, viewings, or walkthroughs — to three people.
On May 19, the Pennsylvania governor issued a revised executive order permitting all businesses in the real estate industry to commence in-person operations, and the Department of Health made corresponding revisions to previous orders to implement the change. Concurrently, the Pennsylvania Department of State issued guidance to the real estate industry, which contains requirements for conducting in-person operations in a manner that protects the health of customers and employees.
On May 7, California issued updated guidance for real estate transactions and an accompanying checklist for the real estate industry intended to minimize the spread of Covid-19 as these business gradually reopen as part of Stage 2 of the state’s roadmap for modifying the stay home order. The guidance includes protocols for the workplace and shown properties.
On May 6, the director of Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services issued Bulletin 2020-23-BT/CF/CU to provide guidance to the financial services industry on compliance with the governor’s stay at home orders. The bulletin reiterates that work by the financial services sector should be done remotely to the fullest extent possible and businesses should take other mitigating measures for non-remote workers. It also clarifies that workers in the real estate industry, as opposed to mortgage companies, are not critical infrastructure workers, and should refer to guidance by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
On May 6, the Pennsylvania Department of State announced that it waived the requirement that real estate professionals attend certain required pre-licensing and continuing education courses in person. Such courses may now be live-streamed.
On May 4, the Pennsylvania Department of State announced that it extended the deadline for individuals whose applications to become certified real estate appraisers have been approved to take and pass the appraiser certification examination. Previously, approved applicants had one year to take and pass the examination. The department waived the one-year limitation for applicants whose one-year approval is in danger of expiring due to the closure of testing sites. Impacted applicants now have two years to sit for the examination.
On May 1, the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Real Estate Commission, adopted an emergency rule extending the time period during which applicants for a sales agent license have to pass the sales agent examination after they successfully complete the sales agent course. The time is extended from one year to 180 days after testing sites fully reopen.
On May 1, Minnesota’s commissioner of commerce issued an order modifying certain regulatory deadlines as set forth in Regulatory Guidance 20-25 and 20-26 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Guidance 20-25 extends the deadline for certain insurers to file annual reports due on or before May 1, 2020 until June 1, 2020. Guidance 20-26 allows banks that acquire “other real estate” as defined by Minn. Stat. § 48.21 to defer the requirement to obtain an appraisal for up to 120 days.