The Latest Information on Coronavirus for Realtors in Florida
Message from 2020 Florida Realtors president
"In times of stress and uncertainty, our Florida Realtors’ family stands strong together, ready to support each other and their communities. As coronavirus continues to be a developing concern in Florida and across the globe, know that your Florida Realtors Leadership Team has been in constant contact with local associations and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) to safeguard the continuity of service." — Barry Grooms
Our news team is keeping up with developments that affect Realtors and the real estate industry. Please make sure you're subscribed to our Daily News newsletter for the latest information right in your inbox (Login required.). You can also click here to see all our top news articles.
FREC approves live streaming of CE courses: By emergency rule, FREC approved video conferencing of in-person courses so Realtors may fulfill biennial license requirements, including post- and pre-licensure ones.
Florida suspends doc stamp taxes on SBA loans: Businesses receiving SBA loans under the CARES Act will not pay doc stamp taxes on the loan according to an Executive Order effective April 3. Florida levies a doc stamp tax on any certificate of indebtedness or promissory note in the amount of 35 cents per $100 in value.
Suspension of foreclosures and evictions: The governor announced the suspension of evictions and foreclosures in Florida for the next 45 days in an effort to keep people in their homes. Florida Realtors is currently looking into the ramifications of this order. You can read the executive order here.
Paycheck Protection Program: The U.S. Small Business Administration is now offering a Paycheck Protection Program, designed to help businesses retain workers, maintain payroll or make mortgage lease or utility payments. The SBA still needs to create the rules for the program and relay that information to banks. Here’s a look at how the program will work and how you can apply.Yes, you can still conduct business during the pandemic, but it's not business as usual. Follow these guidelines and share them with your colleagues.
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- COVID-19 extension addendum to contract: Florida Realtors released a new contract extension addendum that allows for time periods and dates to be extended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- COVID-19 and contract performance: The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly unprecedented, but is it considered, legally speaking, an "act of God"? Here's a look at how a court may rule on real estate disputes that arise from transactions during this time. The whitepaper can also be downloaded as a PDF here.
- Remote notaries: On Jan. 1, authorization for remote notarizations became law, meaning buyers and sellers no longer have to be in the same room. Here’s what you need to know.
- Open houses: All Realtors are encouraged to follow NAR’s guidance regarding Open Houses found here.
- CDC business safety strategies: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidance for businesses and employers here.
- NAR guides for Realtors and Realtor Associations: The National Association of Realtors has posted a guide for Realtors in relation to COVID-19 and a guide for Realtor Associations in relation to COVID-19.
- Travel guidance: Here is specific information from the CDC regarding travel.
- Florida bridge loans: Gov. Ron DeSantis has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
- Unemployment benefits: The passage of the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package provides significant resources in the form of unemployment compensation and emergency loans for small businesses. Here is a look at what we know about how Realtors are affected, including who qualifies and when you'll be able to apply.
- Paycheck Protection Program: The U.S. Small Business Administration is now offering a Paycheck Protection Program, designed to help businesses retain workers, maintain payroll or make mortgage lease or utility payments. The SBA still needs to create the rules for the program and relay that information to banks. Here’s a look at how the program will work and how you can apply.
- Federal family and sick leave changes: Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201. Here are the major provisions affecting Realtors, brokers and real estate associations/boards.
- Federal loan eligibility: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also put together this useful Small Business Guide and Checklist that can help Realtors determine if they are eligible for the loans and what to do to prepare.
- Florida stay-at-home order: Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an second executive order clarified that the stay-at-home order "shall supersede any conflicting official action or order ssued by local officials in response to COVID-19."
- Suspension of vacation rentals: In an effort to discourage visitors to the state who may be carrying the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a two-week suspension of new vacation rentals (30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less). The order does not apply to current occupants of vacation rentals. The executive order can be found here.
- The Florida Institute for County Government offers this convenient dashboard to locate various local actions related to coronavirus.
- License renewal: The March 31, 2020, renewal deadline for real estate licensees has been extended to April 30, 2020. No late fee will be assessed on an eligible license renewal during this period.
- FREC approves live streaming of CE courses: By emergency rule, FREC approved video conferencing of in-person courses so Realtors may fulfill biennial license requirements, including post- and pre-licensure ones.
- Other online courses: If you need CE classes, please take a look at Florida Realtors’ online class options here.
- All in-person meetings held at the state association's Orlando headquarters and the Tallahassee office are canceled until at least April 15, 2020. Committee meetings and all other association business will be conducted electronically.
- At this time, we plan to hold the Women In Real Estate Conference (June 26), AE Workshop (July 22-24), the Florida Realtors Annual Convention & Trade Expo (Aug.. 26-27) and the Governance Meetings (Aug. 28-30). Convention registration will open soon.
- Please check with your local association on whether Florida Realtors professional development classes will still be held at their location.