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.

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

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 resource page daily.

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SCCAR has been working to ensure continuity in our operations. However, the safety and well-being of members and our staff is our top priority. With that in mind, we are closing the SCCAR office and store until June 15th. There will be no in-person classes, meetings, committees, and events between now until Phase 3. Until then, we will host our regularly monthly committee meetings and some classes virtually. We will revisit this situation weekly and make any adjustments as warranted. SCCAR staff will be available by email. Until June 15th, the SCCAR voicemail will be checked about once a week, with your calls being returned in the order they were received. For a more immediate response, please email staff:

  • For inquiries regarding membership dues, classes, education, Code of Ethics, or other general membership questions, please contact our Membership Director, Jordyn Nickolson, at jordyn@sccar.org.
  • For information regarding government affairs, events, communications, RPAC, or committee meetings please contact our Director of Government & Public Affairs, Cami Morrill, at cami@sccar.org.
  • For all financial or tax related matters please contact our Finance Director, Anne Coley, at anne@sccar.org.
  • For inquiries regarding the Board of Directors or the general operation of SCCAR please contact our Executive Director, Matthew Wahlquist, at matthew@sccar.org.

Due to the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, SCCAR is offering payment plans for all members to pay their 2020 REALTOR® membership dues. Learn more here.

SCCAR Office Guidelines for Phase 2 Re-Opening

The SCCAR office will be reopening on June 15th.

- You can visit the SCCAR office by appointment only! Besides staff, we can only allow one person at a time to enter the office. Please contact the SCCAR office to receive an appointment - either by calling (425) 339-1388 or by emailing Jordyn at jordyn@sccar.org.

- We will have an online store option available (www.sccar.store). You can now order from our store online and then schedule a time for pickup with the SCCAR office. You must schedule your pickup during our business hours, which are usually weekdays prior to 4pm. Schedule your pickup either by calling (425) 339-1388 or by emailing Jordyn at jordyn@sccar.org.

- When entering the SCCAR office, you will be required to wear a face mask. If you don't have one, SCCAR will provide one for you.

- The staff will be wearing masks as well as sanitizing common areas.

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

Real Estate Guidance for Phase 2

Here are guidelines for the real estate industry for Phase 2 reopening. 

Modifications for Phase 2 include:

  • Real estate firms may open their offices in a limited fashion;
  • Commercial brokers can engage in the same in-person services as residential brokers;
  • Three persons (as opposed to two persons) are allowed on site for permitted in-person real estate activities for both residential and commercial brokerage (for both improved and unimproved property); and
  • Sign installers may install real estate signs. 

For both Phase 1 and Phase 2 in-person real estate activities, real estate brokers and industry partners (e.g. appraisers, inspectors, photographers, stagers, etc.) must wear cloth face coverings and should encourage clients and customers to do the same.  

Public and broker open houses and similar invitations to view a property without an appointment are not permitted in Phase 1 or Phase 2. Only previews and showings by appointment are allowed.

Brokers must adhere to the “phase” protocols for the county where the property is located, regardless of the location of the broker’s office or home. Brokers conducting real estate activities in a Phase 1 county, must continue to abide by the Phase 1 protocols, which include only allowing two persons in a property, including the broker, at one time. 


Guide for Each Phase, FAQ's

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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