COVID-19 Resource Page

In response to the concerns about COVID-19, commonly referred to as Coronavirus, we wanted to provide a resource page for our members.

SCCAR Office Guidelines for Reopening

Online store option is now available!
You can now order from our store online & then schedule a curbside pick-up time. Visit our store at www.sccar.store. For members to receive your 15% discount, don't forget to use your coupon code.

Face masks required if you are not vaccinated.
When entering the SCCAR office, you will be required to wear a face mask if you are not fully vaccinated (if it hasn't been 2 weeks since your vaccination). If you don't have a face mask, SCCAR will provide one for you. This is to keep you & our staff safe.

Classes, Committees, Meetings, & Events
SCCAR has been working to ensure continuity in our operations. However, the safety and well-being of members & our staff is our top priority. With that in mind, there will be no in-person classes or committees indefinitely. Until then, we will host our regularly monthly committee meetings and classes via Zoom. We are working on a plan & schedule for when we can resume in-person classes & meetings. You can visit our website to see our full event calendar with all the details.

If you have any questions, please contact SCCAR at (425) 339-1388, or by emailing info@sccar.org.

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Effective Wednesday, June 30th, Washington State will lift the majority of restrictions imposed on businesses, including those restrictions affecting the real estate industry. However, certain face covering requirements still apply to real estate firms and sellers may impose their own requirements for those visiting a property. As always, brokers should be respectful of others and continue to follow recommended health guidelines.

 

Brokers and their clients must adhere to any requirements or restrictions imposed by the seller of a property, including required appointments, mandatory face coverings, capacity limitations, or other instructions.  Listing brokers should detail any requirements in the listing and post signs at the property regarding any specific instructions (e.g. face covering required to enter). 

 

Real estate firms may open their offices at 100% capacity, provided that firms comply with certain protocols from the Department of Labor and Industries, including the following face covering requirements:

 

  • Consumers visiting a real estate office:
    • Firms can allow consumers who are fully vaccinated to not wear a face covering after providing proof of vaccination; or
    • Firms can allow consumers who are fully vaccinated to not wear a face covering based upon the honor system.

 

  • For brokers and employees in a real estate office:
    • Firms can require all brokers/employees to wear a face covering; or
    • Firms can allow brokers/employees who are fully vaccinated to not wear a face covering after (a) showing vaccine card or photo of vaccine card; (b) documentation from a health care provider; (c) state immunization information system record; or (d) providing a signed document attesting to vaccination.  The firm should maintain a log of persons who have verified that they have been vaccinated, including the method and date of verification.  

 

Governor Inslee’s recent announcement is available here.  The latest information about the Washington State coronavirus response is available here.

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The National Association of REALTORS® is providing guidance to help REALTORS® respond to the coronavirus's potential impact on the real estate industry. Check out their coronavirus page for updates.

Also, Washington REALTORS® is updating their COVID-19 resource page daily.

Be sure to refer to the CDC’s website for up-to-date information about COVID-19(link is external). Daily updates about the coronavirus are also available from the World Health Organization(link is external).

Applying for Unemployment

 

The Washington Employment Security Department (“ESD”) is currently in the process of establishing its online system to accept applications for unemployment benefits from independent contractors under the CARES Act, the federal law to provide economic stimulus in response to COVID-19. Under the CARES Act, independent contractors and the self-employed can receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”), which will be administered by ESD in Washington State. ESD estimates that updates to its online application system will allow for applications from independent contractors and the self-employed by mid-April. ESD requests that those who may file for PUA benefits sign up on its website to be notified when the application process for independent contractors is ready. REALTORS® who may seek PUA should create a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account, and watch ESD’s new tutorialThe law requires everyone to apply for regular unemployment first, and be denied, before applying for PUA.  

Coronavirus: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance FAQs

You can learn more by visiting ESD's website.

Small Business Loans

The Treasury Department released the application for the SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which you can access hereIt also released a summary guide of the program for borrowers, here.

Small businesses and sole proprietors can apply beginning Friday, April 3; independent contractors and the self-employed can apply beginning Friday, April 10.  Applications go directly to SBA lenders, which you can find throughthe SBA site here.

This is a new program created by the CARES Act to provide small businesses (500 employees or fewer), sole proprietors, and the self-employed/independent contracts who are impacted by COVID-19 with loans of 2.5x their average monthly payroll expenses (up to $10 million) to cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities for an 8-week period during the crisis.  Employers who maintain payroll levels of at least 75% of their average and the same number of employees are eligible for loan forgiveness.  You can learn more about the loan program in NAR's CARES Act FAQ document and the CARES Act Summary.

There are still some questions as to if a small business should include independent contractors in its employee numbers and payroll costs; what we know for certain is that independent contractors can apply for their own 7(a) PPP loans.  We are seeking clarity on that question from the Treasury and the SBA and will have the answer soon.


NAR will be posting a SBA-Program specific FAQ focusing on the 7(a) PPP loans and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which you can apply for here.  (Businesses can apply for both, but the funds cannot be used for the same purposes, and the $10,000 advance grant is not forgiven if you also receive a forgivable PPP loan.)

Loan Processing Flexibilities

On March 31st, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced several loan processing flexibilities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (The Enterprises) designed to help their customers.

The flexibilities announced by the Enterprises include:

  • Allowing desktop appraisals on new construction loans;

  • Allowing flexibility on demonstrating construction has been completed (alternative to the Completion Report);

  • Allowing flexibility for borrowers to provide documentation (rather than requiring an inspection) to allow renovation disbursements (draws); and

  • Expanding the use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations.

Learn more from Freddie Mac.

Learn more from Fannie Mae.

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