Colorado Association of REALTORS | Colorado REALTOR Covid-19 Information Portal
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Colorado REALTOR Covid-19 Information Portal

Covid-19 updates, news and resources for Colorado REALTORS®

There are no words to describe the devastation that is already occurring within our communities, to the business environments we operate within, and the real estate industry. Your CAR leadership knows that the last few weeks have created a tumultuous environment that REALTORS® are now operating within while trying to do their best to broker transactions for their clients. The situation is changing on a daily basis and CAR will do everything we can to keep our members updated and informed.

CAR will continue to emphasize our member experience philosophy by providing additional opportunities that will help Colorado REALTORS® navigate the business environment created by the coronavirus and its unprecedented impact on all of our lives.

PPP vs. EIDL InfographicSee Timeline of CAR's Covid-19 Advocacy

Legal Bites – New Public Health Order: Open Houses – July 1

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson gives an update on the Eighth Amended Public Health Order 20-28 “Safer at Home” issued on July 1, 2020 that allows for open houses under strict guidelines.

Eighth Amended Public Health Order 20-28 “Safer at Home” Allows for Open Houses Under Strict Guidelines – July 1

The new amended order, dated June 30, 2020, states: “All Field Services , including real estate, may resume operations, in accordance with the requirements of this Order including Appendix B . Real estate includes in-person real estate showings and marketing services which must adhere to Social Distancing Requirements with cleaning and disinfection between each showing. Open houses must follow the Indoor Event requirements in Section I.H.4 of this Order.”

Read the Eighth Amended Public Health Order 20-28
See the Social Distancing Space Calculator

Updated Tenant/Landlord FAQ from DOH – June 29

With the changing landscape of executive orders and federal laws, DOH is responding to numerous questions about evictions and foreclosures.

See the FAQ's for Tenants and Landlords

Industry Stakeholders Ask Governor Polis to Sign SB20-096 – June 23

CAR signed onto an industry stakeholder letter that asks Governor Polis to sign SB20-096 as a necessary replacement for remote notarizations. SB20-096 permits a notary public to perform a notarial act remotely on electronic documents. A notary public may notarize electronic documents for a remotely located individual so long as the notarial act occurs using an electronic system  employing real-time audio-video communication, and the process conforms to rules adopted by the (SOS).

Read the Letter

CAR Sends Letter To Governor Polis Requesting Allowance to Resume Responsible Open Houses – June 19

As with other marketing activities currently allowed, we believe that REALTORS® will be able to host open houses under specific health and safety guidelines that would allow an important element of real estate marketing to return to Colorado for the summer selling season and could be managed safely and responsibility by our industry participants. We hope that our industry has demonstrated its ability to responsibly adapt to the limitations necessary to assist in controlling this public health emergency.

Read the Letter

Covid-19 Consumer Guides – June 18

Help homeowners who are facing financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic by sharing these consumer guides, which are available in English and Spanish.

See the Consumer Guides

SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program – June 17

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020.  In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application.

Read More and See the EZ Applications

Governor Polis Signs HB20-1421, Delinquent Interest Payments Property Tax – June 14

Gov. Polis signed HB20-1421, Delinquent Interest Payments Property Tax. The bill allows, upon approval of the county treasurer, a board of county commissioners or a city council of a city and county to temporarily reduce, waive, or suspend delinquent interest payments for property tax payments.

Read HB20-1421

Governor Polis Signs D2020-101 – Ordering the Temporary Limiting of Certain Evictions to Provide Relief to Coloradans Affected by COVID-19 – June 13

Ordering the Temporary Limiting of Certain Evictions to Provide Relief to Coloradans Affected by COVID-19.

Read D2020-101

Legal Bites – COVID and NON-COVID Topics! – June 4, 2020

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson talks about COVID and NON-COVID Topics!! Trust Account Rule Changes and DORA Investigations are discussed.

Safer at Home Guidelines for Short-Term Rentals – June 2

State-issued guidelines for short-term rentals including rental space and rules for property managers.

See the Guidelines for Short Term Rentals

Legal Bites – COVID-19 Update as of May 22, 2020

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses the state’s the Safer at Home Order and what might be coming forward with regard to real estate.

Department of Local Affairs Provides Renters, Landlords Model Repayment Agreement – May 20

May 20, 2020 – The MODEL Repayment Agreement for Tenants and Landlords resides on the DOH Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention website, along with other resources for Coloradans who need help in meeting their financial obligations for housing. Those who have accumulated past due rent are encouraged to take advantage of the MODEL Repayment Agreement template as soon as possible.

DOH Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Website

FHFA Announces Payment Deferral as New Repayment Option for Homeowners in COVID-19 Forbearance Plans – May 13

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are making available a new payment deferral option. The payment deferral option 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.

Read more

Safer at Home FAQ’s for Real Estate – May 8

Friday, May 8, the Division of Real Estate distributed Safer-at-Home FAQs  to licensees statewide.  CAR had the opportunity to participate in the development of this document, which is good guidance specific to real estate.

Read Real Estate Brokers & Services - Safer at Home Guidance and FAQ From DRE

Legal Bites – New Buyer & Seller COVID-19 Advisories – May 7

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses the state’s Safer at Home Order and Local County Updates as well as New Buyer & Seller COVID-19 Advisory Forms

Message from CAR Chair Janene Johnson – May 6

Your CAR leadership knows the past weeks have created a tumultuous environment for REALTORS® who trying to do their best to broker transactions for their clients. Here is a short message from 2020 Chair Janene Johnson. We encourage you to check with your local boards and associations for rules and regulations in your area.

CAR Signs Onto Stakeholder Letter Requesting Housing as Eligible Use of Coronavirus Relief Funds – May 4

The stakeholder letter requests that $2.1M (or 33%) of the State’s discretionary CDBG allocation be used to ensure that low-income Coloradans remain stably housed in order to attend to the health and economic recovery of their household. In addition, the group recommends that the State consider dedicating 10% ($160M) of its Coronavirus Relief Fund, in collaboration with local jurisdictions, to ensure that their local & federal funds in combination with Coronavirus Relief Fund and other State sources address a housing needs assistance gap of $291.8M.

Read the Stakeholder Letter

Polis Amending and Extending Executive Orders Impacting Remote Notary Extensions and Eviction Orders – May 1

Amending and Extending Executive Orders D 2020 012 and D 2020 031 Limiting Evictions, Foreclosures, and Public Utility Disconnections and Expediting Unemployment Insurance Claim Processing to Provide Relief to Coloradans Affected by COVID-19.

Read the Updated Order D 2020 51

Extending Executive Orders D 2020 019 and D 2020 030 Concerning the Temporary Suspension of the Personal Appearance Requirement for Notarization due to the Presence of COVID-19

Read the Updated Order D 2020 47

MetroDPA Still Funding Down Payment Assistance – April 30

metroDPA remains open and continues successfully funding loans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. metroDPA is sponsored by the City and County of Denver in conjunction with front range city and county governments in support of bringing the possibility of homeownership to our communities. click here to learn more.

metroDPA Program

Colorado Secretary of State’s Remote Notarization Emergency Rules Extended Until End of May – April 28

The Secretary of State’s remote notarization emergency rules have been extended and will remain in effect until May 30.  These rules enable Coloradans to have access to notary services without in-person contact.  At the end of March, Governor Polis issued an Executive Order that ordered the temporary suspension of the personal appearance requirement for notarial officers to perform notarizations due to the presence of coronavirus disease in Colorado and authorized the Secretary of State to adopt remote notarization emergency rules.

For the Notice of Temporary Adoption for the Colorado Notary Program Rules (8 CCR 1505-11), please click here. The notice includes the adopted rules, a statement of basis, and statement of justification. For an unofficial copy of the notary rules as adopted and effective 3/30/2020, please click here.
Notary Program Rules

Updated REALTOR® Guidance – April 27

A lot of you are asking, can I show property in my area? The answer to that question depends on the county in which you live and work. While the state Order has transitioned to a that provides guidance for real estate showings (), some counties have opted to extend their stay-at-home orders that may impact your ability to provide showings. These local health orders supersede the state’s Safer at Home mandates and guidelines which went into effect today. We highly encourage every REALTOR® to become familiar with the restrictions within their individual local/county executive orders and what it means for their real estate business.

 

We will continue to monitor and communicate with you about changes and/or additions to the executive orders in our state. In the meantime, if you have specific questions about your area, we encourage you to contact your and your local government affairs teams for further definition on the restrictions in your area of the state. As you know, CAR does not work directly with individual counties across the state on local/county executive orders. CAR will continue to support its 32 local associations however, direct advocacy at the county/municipal level is best managed by local associations in your respective jurisdiction.

Watch the April 27 Legal Bites for More Information

Department of Local Affairs Grants $9.5M for Recovery-Oriented Housing, $3M in Housing Services for COVID-19 Relief – April 27

Governor Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 012 providing $3M to DOLA from the disaster emergency funds which is being used to address evictions and foreclosures, and provide short-term rental and mortgage assistance to low-income households in Colorado who are economically impacted by COVID-19. Information and assistance is available at the division’s COVID-19 website

Read More

SBA to Resume Accepting PPP Loans on Monday the 27th  – April 24

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will again begin accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on Monday at 8:30 a.m. President Trump signed a bill Friday that provides $484 billion in more funding to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including $320 billion more for forgivable loans and $60 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The bill also provides $75 billion in grants to hospitals and $25 billion to coronavirus testing.

Read the Legislation

RPAC Minute Featuring CAR CEO Tyrone Adams – April 22

CAR CEO Tyrone Adams gives an update on how RPAC dollars, CAR Staff, and CAR volunteers have been working hard to keep real estate open in Colorado during Covid-19.

Congress and White House Reach Deal for Additional Small Business Relief  – April 22

Congress and the Trump administration have come to an agreement on a $484 billion deal that includes $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion for economic disaster assistance, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing. The Senate passed the bill Tuesday, and the House is set to vote Thursday. Learn about what this may mean to small businesses in the Denver Business Journal.

Read More in the Denver Business Journal

Safer at Home Policy Beginning April 27 Means Changes for Real Estate – CAR Issues Recommendation to Governor – April 21

Following Gov. Polis’ announcement to transition from Stay at Home guidelines to Safer at Home guidelines, including the loosening of some business and social activity restrictions beginning April 27, CAR proactively submitted recommendations to clarify essential real estate buying, selling and leasing activities and facilitate the appropriate and much needed opening of a pipeline of new real estate transactions to serve the demand and needs of a wide range of consumers, including those in delicate situations as a result of financial impacts, employment changes, family dynamic, and more.

 

The request, submitted to Gov. Polis, the Attorney General’s office, DORA, and the Division of Real Estate, recommended real estate Business Services, at a minimum, include the following activities:
– Scheduled listing appointments with prospective buyers, sellers, landlords or tenants where virtual meetings are not feasible.
– Placement of lockboxes and signage on property.
– Furniture staging and real estate still and virtual photography by licensees or professional photographers.
– Private, scheduled showings with no more than 3 people present in-home at any one time.

Read the Full Letter

Federal Banking Regulators Unveil New Rule for Delaying Appraisals During Pandemic – April 15

Banks will now be able to postpone getting an appraisal on a residential or commercial property for up to 120 days after the mortgage closes under a new federal rule designed to help extend and streamline financing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rule will go into effect once it’s entered into the Federal Register, bypassing the normal comment period and 30-day implementation delay, and will remain in effect through the end of 2020.

Learn More

Colorado Unemployment Site Accepting Claims for Self-Employed – April 14

Update as of April 12, 2020: The Colorado Unemployment systems has begun accepting claims for workers who are eligible for benefits related to the CARES Act, including those who are self-employed (retroactive as far back as February 2 or when your work stopped as a direct result of COVID-19). Programming is also underway for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which is $600/week additional benefit (retroactive to March 29).

Learn More and File a Claim

Updated Guidance on Practicing Real Estate During this Pandemic – April 9

The Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Real Estate recently issued updated guidance on practicing real estate during this pandemic. In this update, it is clarified that “Real estate appraisals and closings are considered critical services to complete real estate transactions. Further, home inspections and final walkthroughs after a buyer has signed a purchase contract and is therefore a condition precedent to the actual transfer of property, is also considered to be an essential part of the real estate transaction. Elements that are fundamental to the real estate transaction are deemed essential to support market activity. However, showing a property or conducting an open house in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic shall be avoided as it violates the specific mandates of recently issued executive and public health orders.”

Today’s clarification is a direct result of CAR’s working relationship with the Governor, his staff, the Attorney General’s office, the Division of Real Estate, and the Division of Regulatory Agencies. CAR has been working tirelessly to ensure your opportunity to continue to conduct the essential services of your business within the established social distancing, safety and health mandates that are currently in place.

Read the Full Statement

CAR Chair Update – April 9

Colorado Association of REALTORS® Chair Janene Johnson gives a brief update on CAR’s activity and the challenges of the state’s Stay at Home Order.

Clarity on Real Estate as Essential Business – April 8

We understand that the last 36 hours has resulted in a lot of confusion for real estate practitioners in Colorado regarding exactly which functions of a transaction are permitted under the state’s interpretation of essential services. The Colorado Association of REALTORS® continues to actively work to obtain clarification based not only on recent guidance issued by the Attorney General’s office, but also on statements made during today’s press conference held by Governor Polis.

Read the Full Statement

Stay at Home Order and Essential Services Interpretation – April 6

CAR has been in communication with the Attorney General’s office and has learned that the Third Updated Public Health Order 20-24 that was issued in conjunction with the Stay at Home order (Executive Order D 2020 017) does not consider in-person showings and open houses to be a critical business/service. According to the Attorney General’s office, only real estate transactions that actually transfer real property ownership (Closings) are permissible and even they must comply with the Social Distancing Requirements set forth in the Health Order.

Read the Full Statement

Fair Housing considerations during COVID-19 Pandemic – April 6

The spread of COVID-19 has serious potential to adversely impact the fair housing and civil rights of individuals, particularly on the bases of race, national origin, and/or disability. For example, housing providers may refuse to negotiate with persons that the housing provider perceives, on the basis of race or national origin, to be associated with an area where a COVID-19 outbreak is prevalent.

Read the Bulletin from DORA

CARES Act for Colorado REALTORS – April 3

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides relief to families, small businesses, and individuals who are self-employed and independent contractors, including REALTORS® and brokerages. Learn the difference between the Paycheck Protection Program, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Grants, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and how to apply.

CARES Act for Colorado REALTORS

State Announces Financial Support Resources for Colorado Businesses – April 2

Last week, the U.S. Congress passed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package called the CARES Act.  It includes resources to help Colorado’s small businesses experiencing economic harm. A key portion of this Act is the Paycheck Protection Program, which allocates $349 billion in forgivable loans to help small businesses, independent contractors, and nonprofits meet payroll and rent needs. Businesses can begin applying for the loans on Friday, which will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.  We strongly encourage you to review this federal program to see how this important economic resource can help your business.

Learn More

NAR Offers Members TeleHealth to REALTORS® at No Cost in Response to COVID-19 Crisis – April 2

The National Association of Realtors® announced Wednesday that it will be
expanding access to Members TeleHealth at no cost to its members for those who register before April 15. The program comes as part of NAR’s larger ‘Right Tools, Right Now’ initiative – relaunched on March 27 – which is making numerous valuable resources available to the association’s 1.4 million members at reduced or no cost.

Learn More

Impacts of Covid-19 on the Real Estate Market in Colorado – April 1

CAR Spokesperson Kelly Moye speaks with 9News (KUSA) about the impact Covid-19 has had on the Colorado real estate market and transactions.

Watch the full story

Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to Implement Remote Notarization – March 28

Secretary Griswold issued emergency rules on Monday, March 30, setting forth the procedures and requirements for remote notarization in Colorado during this state of emergency.  These rules address implementation of the remote notarization process while including protections against identity theft and fraud.

Read More

Real Estate Deemed Essential in Colorado – March 26

Today, Governor Polis and the Department of Public Health and Environment has released an updated public health order in accordance with yesterday’s executive order implementing a statewide stay-at-home order, in effect from March 26 through April 11, 2020.

 

The public health order was updated to include a number of critical services that includes Professional Services, such as legal, title companies, or accounting services, real estate appraisals and transactions.   

Read CAR's Full Statement
Questions Regarding Home Inspectors and Travel Identification for Brokers
Read the Updated Public Health Order

Transaction Guidance During COVID-19 – March 25

In deciding how to address new issues that may come up in your day-to-day business, we urge you to find answers that will ensure first-class services to your clients, while also demonstrating care for the health and well-being of clients, agents, and the greater public welfare in reducing the risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19.

NAR's Covid-19 Transaction Guidance

NAR’s Shelter-in-Place Guidance – March 25

This document produced by NAR explains shelter-in-place orders, how they might impact real estate business, and includes a checklist for brokers.

NAR's Shelter-in-Place Guidance

Announcement from The Appraisal Foundation – March 25

The Appraisal Standards Board, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation recently issued new guidance. In an effort to keep appraisers fully informed of the latest developments, The Appraisal Foundation is sending the new guidance directly to you. The Foundation is compiling all coronavirus-related information on Coronavirus and Appraisers: Your Questions Answered, dedicated page at appraisalfoundation.org

Announcement from the Appraisal Foundation

Homeowner Association Guidance from DORA – March 24

The Colorado HOA Information and Resource Center is recommending that association boards assess good governance policies that continue to advance your organization and members by considering a moratorium for collection activities, late fees, liens, and foreclosures during this unprecedented time. This not only follows the spirit of Governor Jared Polis’s March 20th Executive Order D 2020 012, Limiting Evictions, Foreclosures, and Public Utility Disconnections, but will allow for our neighbors to take care of their basic health and food necessities until this national emergency is under control, our small businesses can reopen, and our neighbors can return to work.

Homeowner Association Guidance from DORA

Freddie Mac Bulletin 2020-5, Selling Guidance Related to COVID-19 – March 23

On March 23, 2020, 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.

https://guide.freddiemac.com/app/guide/bulletin/2020-5

See Bulletin 2020-5

Executive Orders Impacting Real Estate Business

EXECUTIVE ORDER – Ordering Colorado Employers to Reduce In-Person Workforce by Fifty Percent Due to the Presence of COVID19 in the State – March 22

 

On Sunday, Governor Jared Polis ordered employers at non-critical workplaces to decrease in-person workforces by at least 50%. The executive order directs all employers to implement tele-work options to the greatest extent possible. If telecommuting is not an option,  businesses are encouraged to work in shifts and stagger employee schedules to reduce the number of workers who come in contact with each other.

Read Executive Order D2020-13

EXECUTIVE ORDER Limiting Evictions, Foreclosures, and Public Utility Disconnections and Expediting Unemployment Insurance Claim Processing to Provide Relief to Coloradans Affected by COVID-19 – March 20

 

On Sunday, Governor Jared Polis announced that the state will be taking action to provide relief from evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs. The Governor is directing the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) to work with state-chartered financial institutions to address the threat of residential and commercial foreclosures and displacement. The Governor is requesting that municipal and county governments refrain from using law enforcement to carry out evictions or foreclosures unless there is a threat to public safety. He is also encouraging banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions holding residential or commercial mortgages to follow the lead of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and halt foreclosures and related evictions that are due to income reductions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Governor is requesting these financial institutions consider providing a 90 day deferment of payment for all consumer loans, including residential and commercial mortgages, refinances, auto loans, and student loans, and small business loans. The state is also requesting that all public utilities suspend service disconnections for delayed or missed payments from residential and small business consumers.

Read Executive Order D2020-12

Shelter-in-Place and Stay-at-Home Orders (updated March 26, 2020)

The state of Colorado has issued a “Stay-at-Home” Order effective Thursday, March 26, 2020 until April 11, 2020, unless extended.

 

Jefferson County has issued a “Stay-at-Home” Order effective Thursday, March 26, 2020 until April 17, 2020, unless extended.

 

The Tri-County Health Department (Serving Douglas, Arapahoe, and Adams Counties) has issued a Stay-at-Home” Order, effective Thursday, March 26, 2020 until April 17, 2020, unless extended.

 

The City of Denver has issued a “Stay-at-Home” Order effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, until April 10, 2020, unless extended.

 

The City of Boulder has issued a “Stay-at-Home” Order effective March 24, 2020, until April 10, 2020, unless extended.

 

Pitkin County Public Health has issued aStay-at-Home” Order that includes all cities and towns within the county, effective March 23, 2020, until April 17, 2020, unless extended.

Legal and Risk Management Resources

Legal Bites – New Public Health Order: Open Houses – July 1, 2020

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson gives an update on the Eighth Amended Public Health Order 20-28 “Safer at Home” issued on July 1, 2020 that allows for open houses under strict guidelines.

Legal Bites – COVID and NON-COVID Topics! – June 4, 2020

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson talks about COVID and NON-COVID Topics!! Trust Account Rule Changes and DORA Investigations are discussed.

Legal Bites – COVID-19 Update as of May 22

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses the state’s the Safer at Home Order and what might be coming forward with regard to real estate.

Legal Bites – New Buyer & Seller COVID-19 Advisories – May 7

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses the state’s Safer at Home Order and Local County Updates as well as New Buyer & Seller COVID-19 Advisory Forms

Legal Bites – New Safer at Home and Local County Update – April 27

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses the Public Health Order 20-28 Safer at Home and what the new guidelines mean for REALTORS® in Colorado. He also discusses how local/county Orders supersede the state order in any area that has an extended Stay at Home Order. Click here to see Public Health Order 20-28 Safer at Home.

Legal Bites – Real Estate and Newly Announced Safer at Home Policy – April 21

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses the Governor’s recently-announced Safer at Home Policy and its impact on real estate in Colorado as of April 21, 2020.

Legal Bites – Updated Guidance on the Updated Order – April 15

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson addresses the questions he’s been getting about the updated order and breaks down the state’s narrow interpretation of what constitutes a real estate transaction.

Legal Bites – Updated Guidance on Real Estate Critical Business – April 9

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson gives an update on the Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Real Estate’s recently issued updated guidance on practicing real estate during this pandemic.

Legal Bites – “Critical Business’ update – Stay Tuned! – April 8

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson gives an on the “Stay at Home Order and Essential Services” Interpretation as of April 8, 2020.

Legal Bites – Attorney General’s Showing Limitations – April 6, 2020

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson gives a COVID-19 Update on the “Stay at Home Order and Essential Services” Interpretation as of April 6, 2020.

Legal Bites – Covid-19 Updates as of April 3, 2020

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses aspects of the Shelter in Place order with regards to real estate in Colorado.

Covid-19 Updates as of April 1, 2020

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses several updates surrounding real estate issues right now including Remote Notary, Appraisals, Showing Waivers, Unemployment filing, and License Renewals in Colorado.

State vs. Local Executive Orders – Who Wins? – April 1, 2020

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson clears up confusion of the various state and local “shelter in place” orders.

Special Edition Legal Bites – Scott Discusses Most Commonly-Asked Questions After “Stay-at-Home” Order  – March 27

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson discusses most commonly-asked questions about the proper use of the Covid-19 Addendum, local vs. state orders, what’s part of a real estate transaction, the necessity of showings, are outside services covered by the State Order, and documentation for “critical” businesses.

Special Edition Legal Bites – Scott Discusses Colorado’s Updated “Stay-at-Home” Order to Include Real Estate – March 26

CAR General Counsel Scott Peterson talks about an updated public health order in accordance with the March 25 executive order implementing a statewide stay-at-home order, in effect from March 26 through April 11, 2020. The public health order was updated on March 26 to include a number of critical services that includes Professional Services, such as legal, title companies, or accounting services, real estate appraisals and transactions.

Watch the Recorded Colorado Real Estate and COVID19 Contract and Risk Management Issues Webcast – March 25

Watch the recorded version of the Colorado Real Estate and COVID19 Contract and Risk Management Issues webinar from March 25, 2020 with Scott Peterson.

Coronavirus Plea From Real Estate Attorney Damian Cox

This memo is a plea to the real estate broker community to heed the warnings of health officials. Stay home and practice social distancing in every way you can.

Read Coronavirus Plea from Real Estate Attorney Damian Cox
New Covid-19 Real Estate Addendum for Colorado Real Estate Contract to Buy and Sell

CAR has worked with the Colorado Bar Association in the creation of an approved addendum to the Commission-approved Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate to address the practical implications of Covid-19. The addendum addresses 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.

Access and download the COVID-19 Addendum
Read DORA's Bulletin About the Covid-19 Addendum
Watch the latest Legal Bites episode about the New Covid-19 Contract Addendum
Watch the Legal Bites episode about real estate transaction issues caused by Covid19
Currently we are exploring additional member opportunities such as:

Expanded Legal Hotline Availability: In response to the overwhelming call demand for the CAR Legal Hotline, beginning Monday, March 23, the Legal Hotline will be available for extended hours (8 am – 4 pm) 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.

Access the CAR Legal Hotline

Continued Legal Bites on Coronavirus-related issues: During this volatile time, CAR will continue to actively produce CAR Legal Bites with a focus on the emerging and fluid issues related to COVID-19 and its impact on Colorado real estate transactions.

Access the CAR Legal Bites Playlist on Youtube

Advocacy and Legislation Surrounding Covid-19

2020 COVID-19 Timeline of Advocacy – June 30

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAR Government Affairs team has worked closely with the State of Colorado to ensure the voices of REALTORS® and the real estate industry have been heard. This advocacy timeline provides detailed actions taken by CAR since March 2020.

See the Timeline
Industry Stakeholders Ask Governor Polis to Sign SB20-096 – June 23

CAR signed onto an industry stakeholder letter that asks Governor Polis to sign SB20-096 as a necessary replacement for remote notarizations. SB20-096 permits a notary public to perform a notarial act remotely on electronic documents. A notary public may notarize electronic documents for a remotely located individual so long as the notarial act occurs using an electronic system employing real-time audio-video communication, and the process conforms to rules adopted by the (SOS).

Read the Letter
CAR Sends Letter To Governor Polis Requesting Allowance to Resume Responsible Open Houses – July 19

As with other marketing activities currently allowed, we believe that REALTORS® will be able to host open houses under specific health and safety guidelines that would allow an important element of real estate marketing to return to Colorado for the summer selling season and could be managed safely and responsibility by our industry participants. We hope that our industry has demonstrated its ability to responsibly adapt to the limitations necessary to assist in controlling this public health emergency.

Read the Letter
Safer at Home Order Officially Released – April 27

Governor Polis today released the Safer at Home public health order, which takes effect today. To review the entire Safer at Home order, please click here. Key dates in this new order include:

 

April 27 – Curbside retail can begin as well as real estate showings, but no open houses
May 1 – Retail and some personal services can begin, with best social-distancing practices
May 4 – Offices can reopen at 50 percent capacity and social-distancing best practices

 

Specific to real estate, the order states that “Field Services, including real estate, may resume operations, in accordance with the requirements of this Order including Appendix B. Real estate includes in-person real estate showings and marketing services which must adhere to Social Distancing Requirements with cleaning and disinfection between each showing, but may not hold open houses.”

Field Services and Real Estate Guidance
See Timeline of CAR’s Covid-19 Advocacy – April 21

Here is a brief timeline of the state of Colorado’s mandates and executive orders that impacted the residential real estate industry and the various efforts and outcomes resulting from the lobbying and communications efforts by the Colorado Association of REALTORS® on behalf of its 26,000 members.

See the Full Timeline Through April 21
CAR Sends Letter to Governor Polis Requesting Clarity on Critical Aspects of the Real Estate Transaction – April 8

Earlier today, CAR worked with partners in the real estate industry to send a stakeholder letter to the Governor’s office respectfully requesting that real estate related services be clarified to include any critical aspect of the real estate transaction such as property inspection, final walkthroughs and showings if they can be done with virtual technology that would not violate the social distancing precautions under the shelter in place requirements recently extended to April 26th.

While we do not yet have clear guidance to offer our members, we wanted to let Colorado REALTORS® know what we have been doing in the midst of this confusion and that we are currently waiting for clarification from both the Governor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office on exactly which parts of a real estate transaction will be permitted under the current stay at home order.

See April 8 Letter to Governor Polis
CAR joins stakeholder group asking Governor Polis to guarantee emergency mortgage assistance for households making up to 80% of the area median income (AMI) – March 30

The current Executive Order defines low-income households as under 50% of the AMI. HUD’s definition of low-income household is 80% AMI. We are asking that the current Executive Order be amended to align with the HUD definition and ensure Colorado’s vital workforce that are experiencing loss of income due to COVID-19 can maintain their homes.

See Stakeholder Letter to Governor Polis
Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to Implement Remote Notarization – March 28

Secretary Griswold issued emergency rules on Monday, March 30, setting forth the procedures and requirements for remote notarization in Colorado during this state of emergency.  These rules address implementation of the remote notarization process while including protections against identity theft and fraud. CAR has advocated for remote notarization since the beginning of pandemic in Colorado.

Read More
Governor Polis Issues Revision to Statewide Order to Include Real Estate as Critical Business – March 26

On Thursday, March 26, Governor Polis and the Department of Public Health and Environment has released an updated public health order in accordance with yesterday’s executive order implementing a statewide stay-at-home order, in effect from March 26 through April 11, 2020.

 

This new update does include Real Estate as an “critical business” under Colorado’s Stay-at-Home Order. This revision is a direct result of CAR’s regular communication with the Governor and his staff, including appeals to the Governor to consider inclusion of real estate as an essential service during this period.

Read CAR's Full Statement
Your CAR Government Affairs and Legal team continues to work on state/federal issues caused by the pandemic

We are working with industry stakeholders on a variety of emergency issues to enable our members to continue their business operations as much as possible.

March 23 – Denver Metro Association of REALTORS works to ensure real estate qualifies as “essential professional services” under Denver’s Shelter-in-Place Order

In a letter to members from DMAR’s Chairman of the Board, Euan Graham, DMAR announced that it received clarification in an addendum to the Mayor’s order issued this afternoon that ‘real estate’ was added by the Mayor’s office under the qualified list of ‘essential professional services’ in a recent update to their original order. Therefore, real estate services are exempt from the stay-at-home directive so long as individuals involved in the real estate transaction comply with physical distancing requirements mandated by the City and County of Denver.

Visit DMAR's Covid19 Update Page

March 22 – CAR Requests the Governor Identify Real Estate Industry as Essential

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.

Read Letter Sent to Governor Polis

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.

Read Letter Sent Colorado's Secretary of State

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.

Read Stakeholder Letter Sent to House and Senate
Federal Legislative Updates:

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)

Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) providing support to American workers, families, and businesses, including the expansion of paid sick leave and family medical leave.  It also includes refundable tax credits for small businesses and self-employed individuals to cover the cost of the leave.

NAR’s advocacy team continues to urge Congressional leaders to include support for self-employed professionals and other small business owners. This was included in the final bill.

Coronavirus Emergency Legislation and What REALTORS Need to Know
Families First Act Explained
SBA Releases PPP Forgiveness Guidance – June 18

On Wednesday, June 17, the SBA and the Treasury released updated forgiveness forms and guidance for PPP loans, based on the changes made by the “PPP Flexibility Act” signed into law on June 5.

See NAR's Summary and Guidance
Covid-19 Consumer Guides – June 18

Help homeowners who are facing financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic by sharing these consumer guides, which are available in English and Spanish.

See the Consumer Guides
SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program – June 17

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application.

Read More And See The EZ Applications

Financial Resources

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Flowchart – April 28

The NAR Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Flowchart is now available at nar.realtor/coronavirusUE along with the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance FAQs. The PUA flowchart provides an overview of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits that are now available to independent contractors and self-employed individuals through the states under the newly passed CARES Act.

Download the Flowchart
Resource to Share with At-Risk Homeowners – April 28

A new resource from NAR gives associations and members a tool to help homeowners who are struggling to meet their loan obligations due to COVID-19. The Protect Your Investment brochure offers guidance on working with trusted professionals like REALTORS® and housing counselors at HUD-approved agencies. The brochure also provides information about payment options offered by lenders and tips for avoiding scams.

 

Associations and REALTORS® may add their logo to the cover of the brochure for a customized look. To make distribution to homeowners easy, we suggest associations and members post the brochure to their website, then link to it in a newsletter, social media posts, or direct email.

Download the Brochure
Mortgage and Rent Emergency Assistance Now Available – April 20

Emergency funding is now available for rent and mortgage assistance to low-income families facing financial hardship due to economic disruption associated with COVID-19.

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Colorado Division of Housing (DOH) awarded funding from Colorado’s Disaster Emergency Fund allocated through Governor Polis’ Executive Order D 2020 012 to 18 partner agencies. Two agencies will provide assistance to eligible Coloradans in all 64 counties: Salvation Army and Brothers Redevelopment.

DOH established a new online mapping tool to help Coloradans identify the entity providing emergency funding in their location. We are also encouraging applicants to go through 211 as additional or alternative resources may be available.

In order to qualify for assistance, households must have earned below 50% of the Area Median Income for their county prior to March 11, 2020. Income guidelines are available here.

Access the DOH Online Tool
SBA Releases Official Details of Paycheck Protection Program – April 3

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released the official rule for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including the formula for calculating loan amounts and what the loan can cover. Small businesses and sole proprietors can begin applying for the federal loans through their lenders today. Independent contractors and self-employers can apply beginning April 10. Under the rule, businesses with 500 or fewer employees and 501(c)3 organizations are eligible to apply as long as they were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020. Sole proprietors and independent contractors are also eligible, but independent contractors need to apply themselves. A company cannot apply on behalf of a contractor.

The maximum loan amount is $10 million at an interest rate of 1% and a two-year term. PPP loans will be provided on a first-come-first served basis, so we recommend contacting your current lender as soon as possible to apply. Lenders will prioritize their current customers’ applications. If you do not have a current lender or your lender is not participating, see the SBA’s tool to find eligible lenders.

SBA's Tool to Find Eligible Lenders
CARES Act for Colorado REALTORS – April 3

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides relief to families, small businesses, and individuals who are self-employed and independent contractors, including REALTORS® and brokerages. Learn the difference between the Paycheck Protection Program, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Grants, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and how to apply.

CARES Act for Colorado REALTORS
State Announces Financial Support Resources for Colorado Businesses – April 2

Last week, the U.S. Congress passed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package called the CARES Act.  It includes resources to help Colorado’s small businesses experiencing economic harm. A key portion of this Act is the Paycheck Protection Program, which allocates $349 billion in forgivable loans to help small businesses, independent contractors, and nonprofits meet payroll and rent needs. Businesses can begin applying for the loans on Friday, which will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.  We strongly encourage you to review this federal program to see how this important economic resource can help your business.

Learn More
Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses – March 30

More information (including for non-profits) on how to apply for loans from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship here:

Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
Provisions for REALTORS® and Their Consumers – March 27

The U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package on March 25, 2020 with overwhelming bipartisan support. The legislation now goes to the U.S. House, where it is expected to quickly pass. President Trump has said he will sign it into law.

 

The measure includes $349 billion for the Small Business Administration 7(a) loan program. Under the terms, businesses can get up to $10 million toward mortgage interest, rents, utilities, and payroll costs. A portion of these loans would be forgivable.

More on Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

Meeting With Senator Gardner; Formation of Relief Packages and Draft Stimulus Bill

The U.S. Senate is currently working on a third COVID response bill that would provide assistance to small businesses, individual taxpayers, and severely stressed sectors of the U.S. economy. While the proposal is still in development, lawmakers have indicated that the initial plan would appropriate $300 billion in small business interruption loans. Employers with 500 or less employees could be eligible, and the loans would cover six weeks of payroll for employees. The size of the loan depends on an applicant’s average monthly payroll, rent, utilities, mortgage and other items over the past year. Conditional upon employer retaining employees and payroll during the covered period (Mar 1-June 30, 2020), the portion of the loan to cover payroll and pre-existing debt would be forgiven.

 

Small Business Administration Economic Injury and Disaster Loan Program

Colorado small businesses can begin applying for low-interest federal disaster loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Program. Colorado received its declaration today, making these loans available. Eligible entities can receive loans up to $2 million, and interest rates would be no higher than 3.75%.

 

City of Denver and Mayor Hancock Economic Relief Package For Businesses and Employees

Denver’s primary goal is to help the people most directly impacted by the disruptions caused by COVID-19. These programs are aimed at supporting businesses so they can support their employees.

Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can seek individual small business loans up to $2M as part of the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Small businesses throughout all 64 counties may seek SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Governor Jared Polis announced that Colorado’s application for federal disaster area designation has been approved.

 

To learn more about the application process, please visit the SBA website. If you need support in navigating the application process, please visit the Colorado Small Business Development Center COVID-19 website. We also have a hotline for small business owners to call with questions about how to apply: (303) 860-5881.

Colorado Small Businesses Can Apply for Disaster Loans 

Colorado received its declaration Thursday from the Small Business Administration to allow small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans. Learn more about these loans or apply directly at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Other News 

Connect for Health Colorado has opened an emergency special enrollment period from March 20 to April 3 to help Coloradans who are uninsured or about to lose their insurance. Learn more.

 

The federal and state governments announced today that the deadline to file income taxes would be postponed from April 15 to July 15. Read more in The Denver Post.

From Your CAR Leadership

Dear CAR Members,

 

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.

 

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.

 

Emergency Covid-19 Contract Addendum

CAR has worked with the Colorado Bar Association in the creation of an approved addendum to the Commission-approved Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate to address the practical implications of Covid-19. The addendum addresses 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.

Click here to access and download the COVID-19 Addendum.

 

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. 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.

 

Your Legal and Risk Management Resources Are Also Expanding

In response to the overwhelming call demand for the , 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.

 

Sincerely,

A Strategy for Virtual Showings During COVID-19 – March 30

Mabél Guzmán, NAR’s 2020 VP of Association Affairs, shares her extensive experience with virtual showings. Learn three key tips to help your business pivot to a virtual experience, remain effective, and keep your clients well informed.

Open House Concerns

Open House Concerns with COVID-19 Restrictions in Place

The Division of Real Estate has received numerous inquiries from real estate brokers and homeowners concerning the showing of homes and conducting open houses at this time while COVID-19 is spreading. We have seen state-wide Public Health Order 20-23 limiting mass gatherings to no more than ten (10) people, Executive Order D 2020 013 mandating the reduction of in-person work requirements by at least 50 percent for non-essential businesses, and “Stay-at-Home” orders in Denver, Boulder, and other counties further limiting the ability of parties, including notaries, to appear in person for closings.

There are many resources available for you and your clients to consider before showing a home, and prior to having a conversation about conducting an open house at this time.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the State Emergency Operation Center (EOC) have issued public health orders for social distancing and recommendations for businesses.

 

National Association of Realtors® (NAR), has developed a Q&A concerning this issue.

Many other Colorado cities and counties may be considering placing similar restrictions on businesses and residents in the near future.

Real estate professionals and homeowners should follow any emergency rules or orders in effect for the county and city where they are contemplating holding an open house. Real estate brokers have an obligation to exercise reasonable skill and care and should adhere to best practices to protect the general public, their clients, and themselves during this time of uncertainty.

IREMS Pandemic Guide for Property Managers

The Institute of Real Estate Management, including without limitation its officers, directors, employees, advisors, consultants, committee members, task force members, agents, volunteers and members (“IREM”), has assembled the material in this document for the sole and singular purpose of providing potential practices in dealing with a pandemic event as declared by: (i) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other governmental health authority; (ii) The World Health Organization; or (iii) A real estate management company or property managers pursuant to its own pandemic plan (any of these referred to herein as “Pandemic”), and for no other health concern or other issue whatsoever.

IREMs Pandemic Guide for Property Managers

Video Conferencing Tips

Much of what we are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic will be integrated into our lives on a permanent basis. Online video conferencing applications are great tools that enable those who work at home to virtually meet with collaborators and colleagues and will be part of this new normal. We will all be working and attending meetings remotely more often and a few tips and tricks can help the process go more smoothly

Video Conferencing Tips

Important Resources

CO HELP: COVID-19 Hotline

 

For answers in many languages including English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more:

If you have symptoms and think you have been exposed, call a health care provider.

 

Sources for Public Health Information

To review the facts, please see the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Fact Sheet.

 

For public health management:

Be on the Lookout for Coronavirus Scams