GRAR Member Update
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Filing for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
NYSAR released more details for filing for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This program offers temporary unemployment assistance to those who are unemployed, partially employed or unable to work because of COVID-19 and are not currently eligible for regular unemployment benefits. New York REALTORS®, may therefore apply for benefits. These benefits may last for a period of up to 39 weeks.
Apply here: https://applications.labor.ny.gov/IndividualReg/

View a list of scenarios under which an individual may or may not be eligible for PUA https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/pdfs/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.pdf

For questions on how to apply or on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, contact the NYSAR Legal Hotline at 518.436.9727.
MLS Rules Updated
The New York State Alliance of MLS's (NYSAM) , a regional joint venture of the Multiple Listing Services in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, has adopted updated MLS Rules effective April 1, 2020.

Most additions have to do with the addition of the Clear Cooperation rule that became effective on January 1, 2020. There are also some miscellaneous changes to make the verbiage of the rules more closely follow forms we already use.

Both the detailed and summary versions of the updated rules are attached here and are also available by clicking the "MLS Rules" button on your GRAR Portal. 

Please note: Changes are noted in red text (see pages 2-5 and 8 of the full rules).

New Listings and Showings
You can continue to do your business, including taking listings, provided you perform these activities from your home. You are not allowed to go to a new listing to take photos or videos, nor is a photographer who does work for hire per the New York State on PAUSE Executive Order. If you are taking new listings, you may need to work with the seller to obtain photos or videos. This applies even if the home is vacant.

Virtual Showings and Virtual Open Houses

When in-person showings are off the table, and your property owner would like to offer video showings using a video conferencing solution like FaceTime, Zoom, GoToMeeting, join.me or other similar tools, we have some options to assist with this in Matrix and/or via ShowingTime.

Everyone stays home in these scenarios. The owner(s) are doing the actual showing. 

To learn more, click on the following Tech Tips about these new fields including allowed text that may go into the listing Public Remarks with these kinds of showings.

To help you learn more about making videos, ShowingTime and NAR have put together a dedicated page on their website with short videos that describe how to set up and use live streaming services.
Commonly Asked Questions
GRAR has been receiving many questions about the following topics.
Home Inspections
We have learned that some Home Inspectors are receiving exemptions from Empire State Development and are being classified as "essential" businesses. If you would like to work with a Home Inspector who has received an exemption, it is okay to do so. To our knowledge there has not been a blanket exemption granted, only individual exemptions.
Our recommendation is that you obtain written proof of the exemption from each Home Inspector you work with and maintain that written proof on file in your office. It is also important to remember that the agent is still required to be working from home, so you will not be able to accompany the Home Inspector during the inspection. We will let you know if anything on this changes.
Final Walk-Throughs
The Executive Order to stay home prohibits final walk-throughs at this time, so you may need to find alternative solutions.
Showing Instructions in Private Remarks
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 be sending updates each weekday until further notice.

Please visit the GRAR Coronavirus page for all updates, other related information, and links to NAR, NYSAR, and the New York State Coronavirus pages.
Also, please join the GRAR Members Only Facebook Group to get updates from GRAR as well as view and participate in discussions. GRAR Members Only Facebook Group .
Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® | grar.org