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MIBOR: Coronavirus Update

MIBOR: Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus update & Guidance for REALTORS®

Due to Coronavirus, beginning March 16th, MIBOR closed the office building and sent all employees home to work remotely while we closely monitored the situation. Although our physical building was closed to ensure the safety of staff and members, service was uninterrupted.  

Through these extraordinary times, MIBOR has placed priority on two things: the health and well-being of our staff and members while also ensuring that service was uninterrupted. As we move into this new normal, those priorities will remain highest. MIBOR will continue to make informed decisions based on the latest research-based facts and guided by our mission and values.  

MIBOR has spent several weeks working on our plan for staff and members to safely return to our building. We are also prepared to respond quickly should we need to close the building due to an emerging situation.  

To read our guide, click here. 

For information on our staged opening dates, read below:

  • The MIBOR building will remain closed to members through July 12. However, curbside pick-up is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. *Please call ahead for this option.
  • Beginning July 13 the building will be OPEN Tuesday – Thursday, OPEN Monday for appointments only and CLOSED on Friday for deep cleaning. Curbside pickup will remain an option Monday – Thursday. *Please call ahead for this option.

For highlights of what to expect when visiting MIBOR, see below: 

 

Latest News

(June 25, 2020)
Major Updates Announced for Payment Protection Program

INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program, which will use $25 million in federal CARES Act funding to help Hoosiers struggling to pay rent due to the impact of COVID-19.

“This has been a very challenging time for Hoosiers, and the economic impacts of COVID-19 has left some renters in a tough spot,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program will support our renters, improve our state’s housing stability and help prevent evictions as the state gets back on track.”

The program will provide up to $500 in assistance for four months, totaling a maximum of $2,000 in assistance to eligible renters to help cover past and ongoing rent payments or late fees. Rental assistance through this program is available to residents in all Indiana counties except Marion, where a local $15 million CARES Act-funded program will provide aid to Marion County renters.

To be eligible, renters must meet the following criteria:

[READ MORE]

For all news articles, click below.

MIBOR News

On April 9th, Shelley Specchio delivered a Live Facebook message in regards to showings and open houses.

As this information is evolving, we recommend that you stay up-to-date by visiting the CDC website and the World Health Organization website.

indiana association of realtors® resources:

IAR Contract AdDendums for Covid-19

COVID-19 Adendum/Amendment to Purchase Agreement

COVID-19 Adendum/Amendment to Listing Contract

National Association of realtors® resources:

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

local, State and National Resources:

The State of Indiana COVID-19 Website

The US COVID-19 Website

CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need To Know

Indiana's Back on Track Indiana Website

Back on Track Stages (PDFs for each stage at this link)

The City of Indianapolis - Reopening Plan

Other Resources:

Indiana Mortgage Bankers Association Coronavirus Information

CFPB - Mortgage and Housing Assistance during Covid-19


CORONAVIRUS: A guide for realtors®

In response to the growing concerns about COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, NAR is providing this guidance to help REALTORS® respond to the coronavirus' potential impact on the real estate industry. 

What is Coronavirus?

The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus outbreak. While the outbreak started in Wuhan, China, a growing number of cases have been identified in several other countries, including the United States. 

What is the risk of exposure to coronavirus?

The CDC reports that most people in the United States do not have an immediate risk of exposure to the virus. However, the situation is rapidly evolving, and the CDC will update its risk assessment as needed. Visit the CDC’s website(link is external) for latest updates.

What preventative measures may be taken to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading coronavirus?

The same preventative measures recommended to prevent influenza are also effective in reducing the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus.  These measures include:

  • Staying home if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or any other cold or flu-like symptom.

  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve. 

What unique issues does coronavirus present to the real estate industry?

When an infectious disease, such as coronavirus, is associated with a specific population or nationality, fear and anxiety may lead to social stigma and potential discrimination. REALTORS® must be mindful of their obligations under the Fair Housing Act, and be sure not to discriminate against any particular segment of the population. While the coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, that does not provide a basis for treating Chinese persons or persons of Asian descent differently.

My seller wants to suspend showings, what do I do?

As of July 1, 2020 MIBOR BLC® Listing Service reinstated the rule requiring all listings be made available for showing within seven (7) days of the list date.

Showings include either of the following 1) Physical, on site viewing of the listed property by potential buyers with a cooperating broker; or 2) virtual showing (which could mean live or pre-recorded video of listed property), during which the listing broker or agent is available to answer any questions that a cooperating broker may have about the property”.

If, due to COVID-19, your sellers have health/safety concerns about physical showings, they may either offer virtual showings (defined above) or move the property to the Temporarily Off Market (TOM) status.  Your sellers must complete the Temporarily Off Market Status Agreement form to submit the listing to Temporarily Off Market (TOM) status.

May I ask clients or others I interact with in my real estate business if they have traveled recently, or have any signs of respiratory illness? 

Yes, you may ask clients or others about their recent travel, particularly to areas identified as having an increased risk of coronavirus. To avoid potential fair housing issues, be sure to ask all clients the same screening questions based on current, factual information from public health authorities.

I typically drive my clients to showings. May I refuse to drive potential clients to see homes?

Yes. However, be sure that any change to your business practices is applied equally to all clients. You may refuse to drive clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent travel to areas of increased risk of coronavirus, or you may instead decide to stop driving clients in your car altogether, and simply arrange to meet clients at a property. If you do continue to drive clients in your car, it is a good idea to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces like door handles and seat belt latches, and to ask clients to use hand sanitizer when getting in and out of the car.

Should I still conduct open houses on my listed properties?

Speak openly and honestly with your seller about the pros and cons of holding an open house. Assess the risk based on your specific location, and direct your clients to local and state health authorities for specific information about the severity of the risk in your area. You could also propose alternative marketing opportunities for your seller’s consideration, such as video tours and other methods to virtually tour a property. If you do hold an open house, consider requiring all visitors to disinfect their hands upon entering the home, and provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers at the entryway, as well as soap and disposable towels in bathrooms. If you decide to do any cleaning at your client’s home, be sure to check with your client in advance about any products you plan to use. After the open house, recommend that your client clean and disinfect their home, especially commonly touched areas like doorknobs and faucet handles.

What precautions should brokers consider taking in their offices?

Brokers should use their best judgment when formulating a plan. First, brokers should implement a mandatory “stay-home” policy for any staff member or agent exhibiting any sign of illness, and depending on where the broker is geographically located, a broker may want to consider imposing a mandatory remote work policy for employees and instructing agents to stay out of the office.  In addition, taking measures such as holding virtual meetings or potentially postponing or cancelling in-person meetings or events may be good measures to take to limit close contact between individuals.  Be sure to monitor updates from the CDC, as well as your state and local health authorities for additional information and guidance on holding meetings or events. For travel considerations, review NAR’s “Coronavirus:  A Guide for REALTOR® Associations”.

How best can I protect myself and my clients during this time?

There are many considerations you will need to make during this time to protect yourself and your clients. You will likely be presented with questions and hurdles that you have not encountered before. You can find great information on navigating through some of these issues posted on the National Association of REALTORS® website, most specifically the article titled “A ‘New Normal’ for Pros in the Age of Coronavirus”. If you are unable to find an answer to your specific question, you can contact the Professional Services Department at 317-956-1912, Option 4 or at professionalservices@mibor.com.

with most city/county buildings closed, how do i contact the county recorder office?

With the evolving Coronavirus pandemic and statewide orders to ‘shelter in place’, most city and county buildings have closed to the public. However, many offices remain available by phone, online or by appointment only to ensure essential business can still be conducted. Your MIBOR Government and Community Relations team has compiled the following resource listing the best way to contact each County Recorder office in our service area.

Click here for County RECORDER RESOURCE

Finally, do not panic, stay informed, and use your best judgment. The situation is rapidly changing, so focus on putting policies and procedures in place to keep your employees informed, safe, and to avoid business disruption in the event the situation worsens.