Ohio Realtors

Coronavirus-3.17

Corona-02

Daily Rundown: April 6, 2020

The Ohio Development Services Agency, charged with supporting the state’s businesses, serving residents and helping Ohio’s communities be more resilient, has issued its Weekly Report (April 3) detailing SBA loan options, the Support Local Ohio initiative and more.

The National Association of REALTORS created an FAQ page with information on the impact of the COVID-19 on mortgage finance as well as the response from congress, the administrative, and the administration. The document will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

NAR President Vince Malta was a guest on the “Brian Ruffini Show” podcast. They discussed how the housing market will recover, how the community can weather COVID-19, and why keeping educated and getting training is vital for REALTORS, among other topics. Listen now

SBA released its interim final rule for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides much-needed clarity on a point relevant to many real estate brokerages and REALTORS: how should a business account for independent contractors? The final rule explicitly states that since independent contractors can apply for their own loans (beginning April 10), they should not be counted toward another business's employee headcount or its average monthly payroll costs. As this is a brand new program which lenders have had little time to prepare for, many lenders are not yet accepting applications, despite it technically being available as of today (April 3) for small businesses and sole proprietors. Eligible borrowers should reach out to their lenders and continue to check on when they are accepting applications. To learn more about the program--who is eligible, how to apply, what borrowers need to provide to lenders, and other resources--please visit NAR's SBA CARES Act FAQ, which has been updated with the new information from the interim rule.
Additional helpful links here:

The federal government’s stimulus package that's poised to provide aid to the economy and workers during the pandemic also extends unemployment benefits to those traditionally ineligible, including self-employed individuals and independent contractors— categories that many real estate professionals fall under. NAR has released an FAQ on unemployment assistance outlined under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.


Daily Rundown: April 3, 2020

The latest REALTOR Resiliency Report (pdf attached), a weekly communication from National Association of REALTORS President Vince Malta and Chief Executive Officer Bob Goldberg, is available. The Report describes the many ways the organization is working to guide and support REALTORS and the real estate industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NAR has two new fact sheets:

  • FAQ on unemployment benefits
  • FAQ on SBA loans

Governor DeWine announced yesterday that Ohio’s Stay at Home order has been extended until 11:59 PM on May 1, 2020. Updates to the new order include: the creation of a dispute resolution process, a requirement that essential businesses determine and enforce a maximum number of customers allowed in a store at once, a mandate that wedding receptions be limited to no more than 10 people, among other changes. See Order Checklist

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation has developed a website specifically geared toward matching essential businesses with Ohioans who are able and willing to work as an essential employee during the COVID-19 crisis.


Daily Rundown: April 2, 2020

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) is open and working hard for partners and homebuyers during this difficult time. Its homebuyer programs are fully funded and operational, OHFA funding and down payment assistance programs remains unaffected during this health emergency. Please also know that OHFA funding is secure and they are accepting reservations.

The National Association of REALTORS has prepared a Coronavirus Small Business Administration CARES Act FAQ, containing information on eligibility and the application process for these brand new programs, The information is also available in .pdf format. Note: The page will be constantly updated, as there are still some areas of uncertainty that NAR is seeking clarity on.

Yesterday, President Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Ohio and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing. Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of Ohio impacted by COVID-19.


Daily Rundown: April 1, 2020

IR-2020-61: Economic impact payments: What you need to know -- The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.

Yesterday, the Treasury Department released the application for the SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. It also released a summary guide of the program for borrowers, here.

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

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.)


Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) yesterday 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.

Fannie Mae announcement
Freddie Mac announcement

Ohio REALTORS has updated its list of cancelled/postponed professional devlopment opportunities to include courses through April.

The National Association of REALTORS has created Coronavirus Guidance: Commercial Real Estate with information on COVID-19 and its effect on commercial practitioners. Additionally:


Daily Rundown: March 31, 2020

Information from the US Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee on how small businesses and even some non-profits can apply for loans

  • The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) is receiving reports of spam calls to Ohioans from individuals claiming to be from the Ohio EMA and requesting personal protected information, such as a Social Security number. Please note the Ohio EMA will NOT call you asking for personal information. More information is available HERE.

Daily Rundown: March 30, 2020

  • On Friday, March 27, Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB 197 which provides emergency relief to Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the press release, along with statements of support for HB 197 from more than 25 associations representing a variety of industries including Ohio REALTORS.
  • Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted have launched a new “Ohio. Find It Here.” Campaign to help residents support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit Ohio.Org/SupportLocal and see the attachment for additional information.
  • Congress has now passed three stimulus/relief packages dealing with COVID-19. NAR has incorporated the provisions of those bills into this document. The Adminsitration is providing more relief by the day. This document will be updated as events warrant.
  • NAR has produced a summary of the Coronavvirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: Provisions for REALTORS and their Consumer.
  • NAR’s Research team put together a tracker on layoffs and jobless claims and includes an interactive map.

Daily Rundown: March 27, 2020

See a complete rundown of both Ohio and Federal Coronavirus legislation.

The Ohio General Assembly has determined that Ohio will complete the 2020 primary election on April 28, 2020. The election will be largely completed by mail, with limited in-person voting on April 28th for the disabled and those without a home mailing address. Individuals can visit VoteOhio.gov to request their absentee ballot.

The state of Ohio is asking residents and businesses who can donate PP (personal protective equipment), or any other essential service or resource, to email . You can learn more here

Ohio small businesses and nonprofits are now eligible to apply for up to a $2 million, low-interest loan through the SBA. Apply online at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance, which is recommended, or call (800) 659-2955 to have an application mailed to you.

The COVID-19 health crisis is a challenge unlike anything we've seen in our lifetime. The National Association of REALTOS has launched Right Tools, Right Now, a program first activated in 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis. Through Right Tools, Right Now, we're making new and existing NAR products and services available for FREE or at significant discounts to REALTORS and REALTOR associations. The program includes products, resources, and services from all areas of NAR, including:

  • Webinars to help members manage their finances;
  • Education courses to expand their skills;
  • And timely market reports to inform their business and clients.
  • In order for Ohio REALTORS to receive CE for the discounted/free NAR certification programs, they will need to access them through the Ohio REALTORS E-learning Campus

CCIM, a national affiliate of NAR, just posted a primer on both what to expect various commercial sectors to experience and what landlords and tenants can do to minimize disruptions: https://www.ccim.com/cre-tenant-landlord-guidance/?gmSsoPc=1


Daily Rundown: March 26, 2020

  • Essential businesses do not need a specific letter or certification to maintain operations. However, Lt. Governor Husted does recommend that businesses create their own documentation with rational for staying open and what measures they are taking to implement safe workplace practices and social distancing protocols. Additionally, attached is guidance for essential businesses and operations employers.
  • The Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) has secured approval from the US Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) to extend the Winter Crisis Program from March 31 to May 1, and to extend the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) from March 31st to June 1st. For more information on these utility assistance programs, please visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov 
  • Congress has now passed three stimulus/relief packages dealing with COVID-19. NAR has incorporated the provisions of those bills into this document. The Adminsitration is providing more relief by the day. This document will be updated as events warrant.
    https://narfocus.com/billdatabase/clientfiles/172/26/3594.pdf
  • Earlier this week, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio took action to extend temporary relief from the hours-of-service requirements for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles transporting consumer goods, medical supplies, gasoline, diesel, propane, heating oil and waste within the state of Ohio. PUCO grants hours-of-service relief to intrastate trucks hauling specific relief materials during state of emergency.
  • With Ohio’s “Stay at Home” Order, many employees are working now remotely. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has prepared a Frequently Asked Question pertaining to payments and claims at BWC COVID-19 FAQs.
  • Interested in what other states and cities are doing about COVID-19? (Excel)

Daily Rundown: March 25, 2020

  • Banks and credit unions across the state are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many financial institutions are also suspending foreclosures where possible. If individuals need help, they should reach out to their local banker for assistance. Attached is a joint statement from the Ohio Credit Union League and the Ohio Bankers League.
  • Attached is guidance for businesses deemed “critical trades” under Ohio’s “Stay at Home” order. If businesses still have questions after reading the order and supplemental materials, they should seek independent legal council instead of contacting law enforcement or local health departments.
  • Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at unemployment.ohio.gov. It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employers with questions should email .
  • The IRS posting Filing and Payment Deadline Questions and Answers to address the federal filing and payment extension to July 15, 20202. 
  • There is also a new IRS.gov page that provides updates on mission-critical functions of the IRS. 

Daily Rundown: March 24, 2020

  • NAR has prepared a “Frequently Asked Questions” about the organization’s ongoing advocacy efforts.
  • On March 23, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2020-5, Selling Guidance Related to COVID-19, which contains temporary guidance on appraisal requirements. Under the guidance, lenders will be allowed to use desktop appraisal and exterior only appraisals for purchase transactions through May 17, 2020. Freddie Mac has also provided language that the appraiser must copy and paste into their report in order to accommodate the revised scope of work, statement of assumptions and limiting conditions and certifications for some of the scenarios presented.

Daily Rundown: March 23, 2020

  • Governor DeWine announced an order requiring all persons to stay at home unless engaged in essential work or activity. Real estate services can continueThis order will go into effect Monday night at 11:59 PM until April 6, 2020. At that time, the 'stay at home' order will be re-evaluated. (3.23.2020)
  • Ohio Lt. Gov. Husted announced yesterday (Sunday) that businesses and workers effected by COVID-19 now have a central website to access helpful resources and information. The portal includes information on unemployment benefits, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the Liquor Buyback Program, and many other things. (3.23.2020)
  • Ohio Dept. of Real Estate & Professional Licensing Notice: Starting Monday, March 23 the office will be staffed by 3-4 persons on M-W-F.  (3.23.2020)

Today's Top NAR Resources


Daily Update: March 22, 2020

'Real estate is essential,' Ohio REALTORS tell Gov. DeWine

Ohio REALTORS Chief Executive Officer Scott Williams sent a letter to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Saturday, requesting that real estate be deemed an essential professional service if the state makes a declaration involving the COVID-19 pandemic. (3.22.2020)


Daily Update: March 20, 2020

Mortgage Hardship Programs
There are hardship programs in place to help homeowners who have been directly or indirectly affected by the Coronavirus and are struggling to make their mortgage payments. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) encourages homeowners who are having difficulty paying their mortgages, to reach out to their mortgage servicers as soon as possible. As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advises  that you can find the number for your mortgage servicer on your monthly mortgage statement or coupon book. Additionally, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have their own dedicated webpages for homeowners:

Fannie Mae: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Help 
• Use Fannie Mae’s Loan Lookup Tool 
• Or call 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643)

Freddie Mac: Extending Help to Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19
• Use Freddie Mac’s Loan Lookup Tool
• Or call 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343)

COVID-19 updates from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine:


Daily Update: March 19, 2020

Legally Speaking: The impact of COVID-19 on residential property managers
Property managers of residential property are greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. From student housing to senior housing, managers are forced to deal with issues they have never faced in the past. Some of those issues are addressed inside. (Ohio REALTORS Buzz / 3.19.2020) (IREM: Pandemic Guide for Property Managers)

Ohio Land Title Association and Ohio REALTORS letter to the Governor, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and the President Ohio Senate to express concern to the growing number of county offices announcing complete shut-downs and termination of all services

Latest news affecting the appraisal industry:


Daily Update: March 18, 2020

The Ohio REALTORS Leadership Team and Chief Executive Officer Scott Williams participated on a conference call today with Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Department of Commerce Director Sheryl Maxfield. The call provided an opportunity to receive updates on the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response and obtaining the latest news on the regulatory agencies.

Highlights include:

  • Due to the significant number of in-person continuing education classes that have been cancelled, The Department of Commerce and Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing is currently reviewing continuing education requirements to determine modifications that may be necessary to assist the industry.
  • Staff within the Department of Commerce is teleworking. While the Ohio Division of Real Estate is staffing its front desk, it strongly recommends that you reach the office electronically or via telephone. Specifically, please avoid dropping off paperwork in person at this time.

Daily Update: March 17, 2020

Ohio REALTORS continues to monitor developments at the national, state, and local levels regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its potential impact on association operations, travel, and real estate activity. We do not anticipate any interruption in the services we provide to our members, including the Legal Hotline. In the event of an office closure, our staff will continue to serve members remotely. We thank all of our association members and staff leaders for your patience and understanding as we continue to address these concerns.

State of Emergency Declared for Ohio
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of disaster Monday, March 9, for all Ohio counties. Read more about what this declaration entails and additional actions the state is taking to protect vulnerable populations and provide timely testing at the Office of Governor Mike DeWine's website.