GRAR COVID-19 Member Update
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Hello all,

Until further notice, GRAR will be sending these updates to members every afternoon. The updates will include new information related to the business of real estate under the NYS on PAUSE order. The updates will be emailed to you and can also be found on the:

Earlier today, the New York State Association of REALTORS ® distributed a COVID-19 FAQ list. The full list should be in your email and can also be found on the NYSAR Coronavirus Resources page. Here are the five that we feel are most relevant and would like to highlight.
Q:  Can a licensee perform in-person showings or in-person open houses?
A:  No. The Governor's mandate is to prevent person-to-contact. Furthermore, during his press conference the Governor specifically stated, “by my mandate you couldn’t even have your real estate agent showing the apartment. Same with commercial tenants.” Relying on the fact the real estate related activities are not deemed to be essential as well as the Governors statement, showings and open houses are not permitted.
Q:  What is liability if a broker allows an agent from another broker to show property or violate the mandate in other ways?
A:  The Governors mandate is to prevent person to person contact. The listing agent should not permit showings where a licensee will be accompanying members of the general public. If the listing agent is permitting such showings, they may be liable as well. Penalties can range from a fine of $2,000, being charged with a misdemeanor and possible license suspension or revocation.
Q:  What kind of marketing can I do?
A:  You may not make any unsolicited phone calls during a State of Emergency. General business Law §599-z(5)(a) states “It shall be unlawful for any telemarketer doing business in this state to knowingly make an unsolicited telemarketing sales call to any person in a county, city, town or village under a declared state of emergency or disaster emergency as described in sections twenty-four or twenty-eight of the executive law.”  All other types of marketing such as mailers, billboards, social media, internet etc. are permitted. You may call a FSBO if you have an identifiable purchaser interested in the property. You are prohibited from calling the FSBO to solicit the listing.
Q:  I am a single employee business; may I continue to perform licensed activities under the Governor’s mandate?
A:  No. The “single occupant/employee” exemption only relates to whether an application must be made if the business provides an essential function. During the press conference announcing the EO, the Governor specifically stated, “by my mandate you couldn’t even have your real estate agent showing the apartment. Same with commercial tenants.” The Governor’s statement can only be interpreted to mean that real estate related activities such as in-person showings, open houses and in-person listing presentations are not an essential function or service. Since those activities are prohibited, the “single occupant/employee” exemption is not applicable. There are no exceptions or loopholes. You are not precluded from most work that you can accomplish from your home but you are prohibited from any in-person contact with clients/customers and other licensees.
Q:  What if my business is not essential, but a person must pick up the mail or perform a similar routine function each day?
A:  The ESD has determined that a single person attending a non-essential closed business temporarily to perform a specific task is permitted so long as they will not be in contact with other people. Other employees or licensees are prohibited from going to the office.
As stated above, in-person showings are not allowed at this time per the Governor's executive order. It is OK to have something about showings in the listing private remarks , such as,“Call for showing instructions”.

Having showing instructions in the private remarks at this time is not an MLS violation. It is a New York State violation to show a property in a manner other than virtual.
GRAR will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Please visit the GRAR Coronavirus page for all updates and other related information. Thank you.
Andy Kachaylo,
GRAR President
Jim Yockel,
Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® |