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The Latest Information on Coronavirus for Realtors in Florida

Florida Realtors is monitoring everything regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the real estate industry and Realtors and sharing it here.

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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.

  • UPDATE: In-Person Showing Safety Guidelines: On May 22, Florida Realtors issued updated safety guidelines for Realtors, including a printable poster to use during Open Houses.  
  • NEW! PPP Loan Forgiveness. On May 15, the Small Business Administration and the Department of the Treasury released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application, which you can find here.  
  • NEW! Reopening of vacation rentals: Vacation rentals remain closed but counties may submit their reopening strategy to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for consideration. As of May 25, plans had been approved in 42 counties, Find out more, including details about safety precautions for owners, here.
  • Office reopening guide for brokers: Florida Realtors has prepared a guide so real estate brokers ready to open their offices to employees and customers can do so safely.
  • License renewal: The March 31, 2020, renewal deadline for real estate licensees has been extended once again. The new deadline is June 1, 2020. No late fee will be assessed on an eligible license renewal during this period.
  • Step-by-step guide to applying for unemployment: On April 28, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity published a step-by-step guide — with screenshots of the online portal — to help independent contractors and self-employed individuals apply for federal unemployment benefits. Learn more here.
  • COVID-19 Legal Hotline FAQs: Florida Realtors attorneys share answers to the top coronavirus questions they are fielding from Realtors across the state. Read them here. 

Click the sections below to expand for more information.

  • FORM: 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.
  • FORM: 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 white paper can also be downloaded as a PDF here.
  • FORM: COVID-19 in-person access acknowledgment form: In an effort to be responsive to the members' demands for a form addressing the risk of entering properties, Florida Realtors has released the new COVID-19/Coronavirus In-Person Access Acknowledgement on Form Simplicity. We have prepared these frequently asked questions to guide you in its usage.
  • COVID-19 Legal Hotline FAQs: Florida Realtors attorneys share answers to the top coronavirus questions they are fielding from Realtors across the state. Read them here. 
  • Office reopening guide for brokers: Florida Realtors has prepared a guide so when real estate brokers ready to open their offices to employees and customers can do so safely.
  • Free Form Simplicity upgrade: All Florida Realtors members not already subscribed to Form Simplicity’s Ultimate Edition will be upgraded at no cost. This update includes unlimited Sign. Florida Realtors will also provide a discount to members whose individual Ultimate Edition renewals will take place through June 30, 2020. Learn more about this member benefit 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.
  • PPP Loan Forgiveness. On May 15, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of the Treasury released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application, which you can find here.  The application has four components: (1) the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form; (2) PPP Schedule A; (3) the PPP Schedule A Worksheet; and (4) the (optional) PPP Borrower Demographic Information Form. All Borrowers must submit the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form and the PPP Schedule A to their Lender. The forms include instructions for how borrowers can calculate their forgivable loan amount, including the eligible payroll and non-payroll costs. The SBA is expected to release further guidance for borrowers on the forgiveness process.
  • Unemployment benefits:  The CARES Act enables independent contractors to receive federal unemployment benefits by applying through the Florida unemployment system. But getting benefits hasn't been easy. Here is a look at what we know about how Realtors are affected, including who qualifies and when you'll be able to apply. Also, applicants may find applying on the state's mobile unemployment site more efficient. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity provides daily updates of its Reemployment Assistance program in response to COVID-19. This includes a new dashboard that reports the total number of Reemployment Assistance claims submitted, verified, processed and paid.
  • Florida bridge loans: As of April 14, the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program exhausted its $50 million in funding. You can check the status of your application here. (Select "Check Application Status" under Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan to sign-in to your account.)
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): These loans are intended for fixed expenses (rent, mortgage, etc.), payroll, utilities and vendor bills. Loan amounts max out at $2 million with a 30-year term. A $10,000 “advance” may be available in 3 days.  Click here for important information and advice — specific to Realtors — to get you started. To apply, click here.
  • 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 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.
  • IRS extends tax deadlines: The IRS issued guidance Thursday evening to grant deadline relief for both 1031 like-kind exchanges and opportunity zone investments that are already underway. Both of these programs are designed to promote economic growth in communities, and NAR made the case that investors in these programs should not be harmed due to the effects of COVID-19. Details are available here.
Informational videos
Real estate licensing
Shareable infographics
Information for homeowners and tenants
  • Suspension of foreclosures and evictions: The governor, on May 14, extended the suspension of evictions and foreclosures in Florida through June 2. You can read the original executive order here and the extension order here. Plus, at-risk owners of single-family, FHFA homes can’t be evicted before June 30 under a new extension. More info here.
  • Mortgage payment deferral option: The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making available a new payment deferral option that allows borrowers, who are able to return to making their normal monthly mortgage payment, the ability to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at maturity. Learn more here.
  • Federal housing problem assistance: Homeowners and renters can now visit a single federal website to find federal programs that can help with COVID-19-related housing problems. The site includes info for homeowners that have a mortgage backed by FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Click here to find out more.
Florida Realtors updates
Local actions
  • The Florida Institute for County Government offers this convenient dashboard to locate various local actions related to coronavirus.
Addendum to contract, COVID-19 Force Majeure Addendum to contract, COVID-19

Webinar: How to Get Access to Federal COVID-19 Relief

In this session, recorded live with Florida Realtors members, two certified CPS instructors — Chris Bird and Dale Carlton — break down what financial relief is available to real estate professionals in the federal CARES Act and explain what Realtors need to know about applying.

Florida Realtors White Paper Video: Coronavirus & 'Force Majeure'

The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly unprecedented, but is it considered, legally speaking, an "act of God"? Here, Juana Watkins, Florida Realtors Vice President of Law and Policy & General Counsel, takes a look at how a court may rule on real estate disputes that arise from transactions during this time.

Information on COVID-19 Addendum to Contract (March 20, 2020)

The Florida Realtors legal team wants to make sure you have all of the information you need to successfully complete contracts that are in place or are to be executed. Florida Realtors CEO Margy Grant and General Counsel Juana Watkins explain what you need to know.

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