GRAR Member Update
Thursday, April 2, 2020
Yesterday, the Empire State Development (ESD) agency announced the following functions are now considered essential in New York State:
  • Residential home and commercial office showings
  • Real estate back office functions
  • Home inspections
  • Residential appraisals
 
As NYSAR stated in their communications last evening, all members “must fully comply with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “ New York State on PAUSE ” directive, which says that “ essential businesses   must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health and every business, even if essential, is strongly urged to maintain social distance to the extent possible.”
 
GRAR recommends that all members continue to conduct business from home in a virtual manner, whenever possible, including continued telecommuting for back office staff. Please remember, each of us is a member of the community at large. As such, we have a social responsibility to operate in a safe and healthy manner when conducting business.

Physical Open Houses are still not allowed at this time.
 
You are still prohibited from telemarketing as that is controlled by the declared "State of Emergency" rather than the status of your business as essential or non-essential. Please refer to the NYSAR FAQ for details.
 
Please seek guidance from your broker on your firm’s operating procedures under the “essential” designation. Keep in mind, you are not required to perform any function with which you are uncomfortable or feel is contrary to the health and safety of yourself, your family , or the community.
Other Service Providers Not Specifically Named as Essential


11. QUESTION: What if my business is NOT an “Essential Business” listed on ESD’s guidance but provides services, materials, supplies or other support to an Essential Business?

ANSWER: If your firm is a vendor, supplier or provides other support to an Essential Business that is required for the Essential Business’s operation, then your business is exempt from the employment reduction provisions contained in Executive Orders 202.8. However, only those employees necessary to support the Essential Business are exempt from the employment reduction requirements of Executive Orders 202.8 and your business is still required to utilize telecommuting or work from home procedures to the maximum extent possible.
Please read the following at your earliest convenience and reference these often.

  • Empire State Development Essential Employer FAQ’s (link above)
  • NYSAR FAQ’s (link above) These have been fully updated. There are now substantive answers to all the questions.
  • NAR Coronavirus Guide for REALTORS® (web page)  (link to PDF guide) The guide was originally released on March 2 and was most recently updated March 26. The website has additional helpful information beyond what is in the PDF guide.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU)
NYSAR has informed us that the change to an essential designation should not impact a REALTOR®’s ability to collect PUA.

Liability Waivers
Some have inquired about the use of liability waivers at this time with language to the effect of, “You’re taking the risk of entering this home and you will absolve the broker and the agent of all liability should you contract COVID-19.” NAR’s General Counsel, Katie Johnson, stated that this type of liability waiver is not legally necessary or useful. NAR, and GRAR, will not be producing or providing an examples of these forms. Follow the links above to the NAR Coronavirus Guide for REALTORS® for any additional information that may be available on this topic.

GRAR Office
The GRAR office will remain closed to members and the public at this time, however staff is working remotely and can to fully support you, as always.
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