In this issue…
County Shelter in Place Orders: Last week Boulder and Larimer Counties issued Shelter in Place orders for all residents. Local orders that are more restrictive than the State order (see below) supersede the State order. County orders are in effect until April 17, while the State’s order is in effect until April 11 although it can be extended.
Association executives and I fielded many questions from members. The situation was chaotic, needless to say. Boulder and Larimer Counties eventually designated real estate as an essential business. We received questions such as, “Will I be pulled over by law enforcement if I am out conducting business?” or “Is it ok to hold open houses or showings?”
Some members wanted specific guidance on these topics. Rumors flew fast and furiously. By now you will have received information from your associations. I urge you to follow their recommendations. They will keep you informed. It would be best not to overwhelm government officials with questions during this time; they have enough to do without answering the same questions over and over again.
While county health departments have not prohibited showings, for example, they are asking all of us to follow their recommendations regarding avoiding interactions with non-family members and social distancing. County representatives with whom I spoke voiced reluctance to issue more specific prohibitions related to real estate activities. They said they were waiting to see if the State would issue additional guidelines or restrictions.
Key Issues Postponed: Although local governments are meeting virtually, they have postponed controversial issues until this crisis is past. For one thing, they are busy considering emergency issues in their communities. For another, they want to avoid any perception that they are trying to “slide things through” while the public is preoccupied.
COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
CAR COVID-19 Portal: The Colorado Association of REALTORS® has a COVID-19 portal for members. It includes current information, updates and guidance you’ll find helpful.
State Order: Governor Polis announced a Shelter in Place order on March 25. The order went into effect on March 26. The order will last until at least April 11 , but this will depend on the course of the pandemic, so the date may change. Initially, the State order did not designate real estate as an essential business, however, Colorado Association of REALTORS® lobbyists and staff worked quickly to have that order amended.
At this time the State has not issued additional restrictions relevant to our industry. The Division of Real Estate has a page related to COVID-19 information. That information is available here – https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/covid-19-updates-licensees-and-consumers. Open House concerns are addressed here – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/CODORA/bulletins/2832cb0.
President Signs CARES Act: On March 27 Congress passed 1,000-page, $2 trillion economic relief package which was signed by the President. It provides mortgage forbearance, a moratorium on eviction filings, Section 8 voucher rental assistance, unemployment benefits for self-employed individuals and independent contractors and more. Note that unemployment benefits will be administered by the State of Colorado.
Information from NAR: Here’s a link to NAR’s COVID-19 clearinghouse for members –https://www.nar.realtor/coronavirus