Update from CAR – March 24, 2020
As the fast-changing COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and impact nearly every facet of our lives, your CAR leadership has been and will continue to be working to understand and make proactive decisions that are grounded and focused on the health, safety, and long-term care of our members and the communities we serve. While we know that many of the decisions we will have to make are going to be difficult, each will be based in transparency and science, while also doing our part to help stop the spread of the virus.
We understand that every local association and every community’s public health needs are unique, so we want to make sure we play a constructive role by taking responsible actions, guided by the CDC and other experts, to continue to do what is right for our members and partners. Going forward, you will be able to find the latest information from CAR by visiting our COVID-19 Update page at www.coloradorealtors.com/Covid19.
Unfortunately, due to the virus and the implications it has already had for our mountain communities and the hospitality industry, many of you are aware that we were forced to cancel Spring Summit 2020 scheduled for April. We are working hard to assess next steps for some of the business that would have been completed at the Summit and we will share those details and next steps with you as decisions are made.
Your Government Affairs Team Is Working Harder Now More Than Ever
We are working tirelessly with industry stakeholders on state and federal issues caused by this pandemic. CAR is actively working on a variety of emergency issues to enable our members to continue their business operations as much as possible.
CAR Seeking State Authorization to Process Real Estate Transactions Online
At the forefront is the necessary state and federal authorization to process real estate transactions online. CLICK HERE to read the stakeholder letter sent to Colorado’s Secretary of State requesting an Executive Order to allow for the use of remote notarization technology to satisfy the “personal appearance” requirement to remotely complete real estate notarizations.
CAR Requests the Governor Identify Real Estate Industry as Essential
Yesterday, CAR sent a letter to Governor Polis asking that he acknowledge the importance of the real estate industry in the basic economic health of our economy and to accept a request that any “shelter in place” order include an exception that provides, in substance: “Essential services related to real estate transactions include, but are not limited to, title searches, appraisals, permitting, inspections, construction, moving, and the recordation, legal, financial and other services necessary to complete a transfer of real property.” Read the full letter here.
CAR Requests That the Federal Government Create Financial Mitigation Plans to Help Property Owners
We are also proactively fighting for protection of property owners in light of the movement to temporarily suspend evictions considering the hardship that will create for mortgage payments or cause potential future foreclosures. CLICK HERE to read the stakeholder letter sent to Leaders in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate requesting the development of Emergency Rental Assistance Funds and Financial Mitigation plans to allow property owners to satisfy their own financial obligations during this crisis. This letter was also forwarded to Governor Polis. We will provide continued updates on these developments as they are available.
CAR Requests Emergency Contract Addendum From the CBA
CAR has formally requested that the Colorado Bar Association consider immediately promulgating a real estate contract addendum to address the practical implications of Covid-19. The request included addressing real estate transactions that are impacted and/or delayed by shutdowns of title offices, government agencies, lenders and/or appraisers; and real estate transactions that are impacted and/or delayed by mandatory or voluntary quarantines. Please read this full letter here. We hope to have a new addendum approved by the CBA very shortly.
Your Legal and Risk Management Resources Are Also Expanding
In response to the overwhelming call demand for the CAR Legal Hotline, the Legal Hotline will be available for extended hours (8 am – 4 pm) beginning Monday, March 23, through Friday, April 3, 2020. This additional 2 hours/day of Hotline availability will provide Colorado REALTORS® with expanded access to qualified real estate attorneys as they navigate the unique challenges currently impacting real estate transactions. CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson will continue to develop Legal Bites with a focus on the emerging and fluid issues related to COVID-19 and its impact on Colorado real estate transactions. The Legal and Risk Management team is also looking at ways CAR can respond to member inquiries in a virtual environment. Stay tuned as we announce additional resources.
REALTORS® Are More Important to Their Communities Now More Than Ever
Like each of you, we are focused on how we can take care of one another and the clients and communities in which we live and work. We are proud of the swift decisions we are making, and we will always do what’s best for our members and partners. As the situation continues to evolve, we may make some more changes, but through it all we will lead through the lens of our REALTOR® Mission and Values.
Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do in support of our industry, your fellow members, clients, neighbors, and communities. We have heard numerous stories of REALTORS® proactively working to support their communities and neighbors during these uncertain times and we could not be prouder to be a part of the Colorado REALTOR® family. We look forward to sharing our resources and insights and to helping our communities, state and nation rebound as quickly as possible.
Taken from a letter sent to SMDRA Membership on Monday, March 23, 2020.