April 15, 2021
November 24, 2020: Portions of Monroe County Move To Orange Zone
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Best Practices developed by GRAR COVID-19 Task Force
A task force of GRAR REALTOR® members developed the following bullet point list of best practices as a quick guide for the full membership.
- Include in private remarks the following “All showings must comply with COVID-19 NYSAR Guidelines: Masks must be worn. Showing agents to have buyers’ proof of funds or prequal letter and signed COVID Disclosure before scheduling appointment. Showing Agent must ask buyers health screening questionnaire on day of showings.”
- Supply of disposable masks, hand sanitizer, and/or disinfectant wipes should be made available at property by Listing Agent. Note: if seller requires gloves and booties be worn it will be the Listing Agent’s responsibility to supply those as well.
- COVID Disclosure sign (along with Fair Housing) should be prominently displayed inside home.
- For occupied properties, owners or tenants should leave lights on and doors opened to limit the need for others to touch things.
- For occupied properties, owners or tenants should vacate property for showings.
- Documents and flyers should be available electronically for touchless distribution.
- Consider limiting showings to ½ hour with 15 minutes in between for sanitization.
- Have supply of disposable masks, hand sanitizer, and/or and disinfectant wipes available. Consider making gloves available as well.
- Limit guests in house to one 2-person group at a time. No children should be permitted in the home.
- All people in house must wear mask.
- Lineup of guests should remain socially distant (and wearing mask) until called to enter.
- Open House host should wipe down commonly touched areas before start of open house, in between groups inside and at the end of open house.
- Open House host should have all lights on and doors open and discourage guests from touching things inside the house.
- Documents and flyers should be available electronically for touchless distribution.
Working with Buyers
- Showing Agent is to ask screening questions each day showing homes – keep records for 30 days.
- Showing agent should have received buyers’ proof of funds or prequal letter before scheduling showing appointment.
- Limit guests in house to one 2-person group plus 1 agent at a time.
- All people in house must wear a mask.
- Keep supply of disposable masks, hand sanitizer, and/or disinfectant wipes available for all showings.
- Showing Agent should discourage guests from touching things and instead, showing agent should be the one to open doors and turn on/off lights etc. and wipe down touched surfaces.
- Documents and flyers should be provided electronically for touchless distribution.
- Adhere to the strict timeframe of the scheduled appointment. If more time is needed, showing agent should schedule another showing instead of staying past allotted time.
- Any agent violation should be reported to the violator’s Broker or the NYS hotline (please note that GRAR does not have the authority to enforce NYS COVID mandates).
November 4, 2020: New Quarantine Procedures for Out-of-State Travelers
Effective November 4, 2020 – New York State issued new guidance for travelers coming into New York State from another state, exempting the contiguous states. Out-of -state travelers have the option to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
- Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.
- The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
- On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain seek another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.
- The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
- However, the traveler must fill out the traveler information form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.
Most Recent GRAR Updates
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Earlier GRAR Newsletters on Phase 2 Reopening
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NYSAR Guidance for Phase 2 Re-opening
June 1, 2020
Guidance to in-person contact with consumers
- Brokers are encouraged, but not required, to conduct remote walkthroughs rather than in-person walkthroughs (e.g. recorded/live video), where possible.
- Whenever possible, activities should be conducted remotely with consumers.
- Whenever in-person contact occurs with a consumer, the licensee should be wearing an appropriate face covering and maintain social distancing.
Interaction with consumers
- Licensees must limit in-person gatherings with consumers to the greatest extent possible and use other methods such as video or teleconferencing whenever possible. When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not possible, licensees should hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces and ensure that individuals maintain six feet of social distance between one another and wear appropriate face coverings.
- Licensees should avoid driving in the same car with prospective tenants/buyers. If this cannot be avoided, face coverings must be worn by everyone in the vehicle and frequently touched areas of the vehicle should be cleaned and disinfected.
- May only be conducted in unoccupied (if there is an occupant, they must not be present) and vacant property.
- Licensee must limit the number of individuals viewing the property.
- Licensees should schedule all showings in advance, whenever possible.
- Licensees and consumers must wear an appropriate face covering at all times.
- Gloves and shoe coverings can also be required by the owner or broker.
- Brokers must provide appropriate face coverings to licensees and consumers.
- Licensees should not dispose of PPE at the property being shown.
- Consumers should be instructed to only touch essential surfaces, such as the use of a handrail to go up or down stairs. Consumers should be instructed not to touch other areas or surfaces including cabinets, countertops, appliances etc.
- Licensees are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces such as doorknobs and handrails. As a best practice, licensees should disinfect every surface that was touched during a showing.
- Showing times should be staggered so as not to have the next scheduled buyer/tenant waiting outside for the current showing to end.
- As a best practice, only one party should be in the property at a time. If more than one party is inside the property at the same time, 6 feet of distance must be maintained at all times between individuals, and face coverings must be worn (face coverings are already mandatory).
- Licensees and buyers/tenants are encouraged not to bring young children or extraneous guests to property showings, when possible, or leave attended children outside.
- Licensees must screen each seller/buyer/landlord/tenant prior to a showing. NYSAR strongly recommends that such screening be done remotely (phone, email etc.). The following questions must be asked as part of the screening process:
- knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19,
- tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or
- has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- Require seller/lessor to disclose if they become symptomatic and/or they test positive for COVID-19 within 48 hours of the last visit to their property.
- Require buyer/lessee to disclose if they become symptomatic and/or they test positive for COVID-19 within 48 hours of the last visit to a property.
- Although the Guidance Documents permits open houses, it includes restrictions.
- Only one party may be inside the property at a time. The licensee needs to be sure no other parties can enter.
- Licensees choosing to hold a traditional open house run the risk of multiple parties congregating outside the property waiting for their turn to view the property or attempting to enter the property while another party is inside. Licensees should make every attempt to schedule showing times for an open house to avoid such issues.
- Licensees should not dispose of PPE at the property where the open house is held.
Other GRAR Coronavirus-related Member Updates
March 20 Update – New York State on PAUSE going into effect
March 19 Update – Guidance from GRAR on the use of a COVID-19 Addendum
March 19 Update – GRAR Member Update – US Congress Passes the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act”; NAR Flash Survey
March 12 Update – GRAR Member Update – NAR Guide for REALTORS; CDC Protocols
Learn more about the NYS on PAUSE Executive Order:
- “New York State on PAUSE” Executive Order
- Guidance on Essential Services Under the NYS on PAUSE Order
- New York State Coronavirus Main Page
Other Resources and Information
The NYS Department of Labor is reminding businesses of its Shared Work Program that can provide an alternative to laying off employees during business downturns by allowing workers to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, you able to reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group. Learn more
The Department of Labor is working hard to keep up with the new demand for Unemployment Insurance and has instituted new rules that include extended hours and restrictions about when to file based on your last name. Learn more
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved a statewide disaster declaration for New York. Eligible small businesses may now apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) online. Learn more
Education and License Renewal
March 16, 2020 Email from Duncan MacKenzie, NYSAR CEO
The coronavirus situation has certainly uprooted many aspects of our lives. One impact on NYSAR members is losing access to continuing education needed for license renewal due to in-class course cancellations.
Current law provides for hardship extension waivers when licensees are unable to complete their continuing education requirement for license renewal. We are happy to report that the NYS Department of State (DOS) will grant six (6) month waivers to students who are unable to complete their education due to the state of emergency.
Licensees requiring a waiver must provide evidence of a bona fide hardship precluding completion of the continuing education requirements prior to the time the renewal application is to be filed. A licensee seeking such a waiver shall go through the renewal process using eAccessNY. When filling out the renewal application, the licensee would indicate that they did not complete the required continuing education. Choose the option to upload documents and provide: 1) all documentation demonstrating such hardship and 2) a written request for such waiver. The DOS will notify you if the waiver was granted.
The DOS is now working on a notification that will be posted on their website and sent via email. Please look for the notification from DOS and further updates from NYSAR.
NYSAR will continue to monitor the impact of the state of emergency on our members. Please look for email and social media alerts, and check NYSAR.com often.
NYSAR Chief Executive Officer