Dear MCAR member,

Please read the latest legal update and recent news from C.A.R. and N.A.R.

As a reminder, the MCAR office will be closed Friday, July 3.

Happy 4th of July and stay safe!

C.A.R. Legal Guidance on Open Houses – as of 7/2/20
There still seems to be some confusion in the state regarding the legality of holding open houses. Please be reminded that open houses are  not  currently permitted in California. The mandatory Industry Guidance states “ Discontinue holding open houses and showings open to the general public on a walk-in basis; use an appointment or digital sign-in process to control the number of people in the house or property .” Thus, the only way to show property is by making an appointment in advance. Visitors viewing a house should be from one buying party only and the number of persons in the property is limited by the requirement of social distancing. In addition, the property must be thoroughly cleaned before and after each showing.
Open houses are generally understood to be on a walk-in basis without needing an appointment. Appointment-based showings are not “open houses” in the general understanding of the industry and the public. Therefore, to present a true picture under Article 12 of the Code of Ethics, REALTORS® should conform to the normal understanding of the term.
In other words, REALTORS® should  not  be putting up Open House signs at all, because if they are advertising a traditional open house they are promoting an unlawful activity, and if they are advertising an “open house” that really isn’t an open house, they are arguably not presenting a true picture in their advertising.
State Legislature Passes Strong Measure That Builds on C.A.R.’s Ballot Initiative
The California State Legislature has passed a strong bipartisan measure (Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11) co-sponsored by C.A.R. and the California Professional Firefighters that is poised to be placed on the November ballot. This new ballot initiative is known as “The Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act” (ACA 11).

ACA 11 builds on C.A.R.’s original initiative, strengthening the provisions C.A.R. cares most about and incorporates dedicated funding for fire protection and emergency response to safeguard millions of lives in communities across the state. The new initiative will continue to expand Proposition 13 property tax portability for all homeowners over 55 years old, people with severe disabilities, and wildfire victims by removing unfair location and cost restrictions to allow homeowners to move anywhere in the state. In addition, it will open up housing inventory throughout California, creating home ownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers.
Congress Approves Extension of Small Business Loan Program (PPP)
Congress today approved an extension of a $660 billion lending program in an effort to help small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, renewing a lifeline that expired at midnight June 30.

It would keep the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which expired at midnight Tuesday, operating for another five weeks through Aug. 8. The bill, which both chambers passed on a voice vote, now goes to President Trump for his signature to sign into law.

Created under the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is an expansion of SBA’s 7(a) loan program for providing financial assistance to small businesses.
Businesses with fewer than 500 employees — including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals ¬— all qualify for PPP loans. Most real estate brokers and real estate firms are therefore likely to qualify.
zipForm Plus is Now Lone Wolf Transactions (zipForm Edition)
zipForm® Plus is getting a new name. Starting today, the name of zipForm Plus will change to Lone Wolf Transactions (zipForm Edition).

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see this new name in various places, including within the platform and in training materials. You will continue to access your account through the  homepage, in the circle newly labeled “Transactions zipForm Edition” or through your brokerage. 

The platform will continue to function in the same manner in which you are accustomed, including MLS-Connect, zipForm® Mobile, zipVault® and more. Lone Wolf Transactions (zipForm Edition) will remain a member benefit for all C.A.R. members, and you will continue to access all the features you rely on, including current statewide contracts, local forms, and more.
Training via monthly webinars, outreaches and zipTips will still be available from C.A.R. Please contact us with any questions at .
Update on Coronavirus Market Impacts
The housing market continues to recover with pent-up demand surging at the national level and mortgage applications rising as buyers capitalize on record low rates. While the outlook for the real estate industry is looking more positive than before, the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy will linger on for a while. There are encouraging signs that the economic downturn has reached the bottom. Even so, the resurgence in coronavirus infections in recent weeks suggest that the pandemic is far from over.    
C.A.R. Statement on HUD and FHFA’s Harmful Policies That Hurt Minority and Underserved Borrowers
C.A.R. issued the following statement in response to a letter sent by Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Representatives Wm. Lacy Clay and Juan Vargas to the secretary of HUD and the director of the FHFA calling on agencies to amend their policies which penalize loans that go into forbearance prior to being insured by the FHA or purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac:
“C.A.R. thanks Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Representatives Vargas and Clay for calling out HUD’s and the FHFA’s policies of penalizing lenders for loans that have gone into forbearance due to COVID-related circumstances, which negatively impacts the Black and Latinx communities. These harmful policies have forced lenders to make loans more restrictive, reducing access to mortgages for minority and underserved borrowers.”
Virtual Tours & 3D Models with Integrated Video Chat
Virtual tours have increasingly become an essential part of the home buying and selling process. C.A.R. has partnered with EyeSpy360 to offer members a quick, easy and affordable way to create virtual tours and 3D models for property listings. EyeSpy360 tours allow for instant remote property viewings with anyone, at any time and on any device. Features include integrated video chat that instantly connects multiple people inside any virtual tour, pre-recorded walkthroughs, and easy-to-add interactive information labels with your branding.

EyeSpy360 integrates directly within Lone Wolf Transactions (zipForm Edition) and preferred C.A.R. pricing can be claimed from the Marketplace tab on any transaction.
Everything You Need to Know About Leasing, Tenants and Rental Payments
California was the first state to issue shelter in place orders back in mid-March. It was also the first state where local authorities announced moratoriums on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic. While these measures have generated angst and questions throughout the rental community, Hemlane and C.A.R. Business Products’ recent webinar can help alleviate concerns and answer your questions. Listen to the recording and learn about COVID-19’s impact on leasing and property management.
In a surprise move, the U.S. Congress cleared legislation extending the Paycheck Protection Program, popular with REALTORS®, through Aug. 8. The president is expected to sign the legislation.

The 2020 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, originally scheduled for Nov. 13–16 in New Orleans, will transition to a fully virtual format due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the single-director structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional. However, the decision to sever that provision from the law that created the bureau will ensure minimal disruption to housing markets, which was NAR’s goal.

After two straight months of declines, pending home sales came roaring back in May. Every major U.S. region posted month-over-month increases.

Read NAR’s guidance on handling racist comments on social media. The guidance was created after brokers and REALTOR® associations reported an increase in online vitriol.

Find out how the Bonita Springs-Estero REALTORS® organization in Florida used an NAR community rebuilding grant to beautify a park vandalized during protests.

COVID-19 has raised consumer awareness about buying and selling property safely and conveniently. Remote online notarization is more important than ever, so learn what you can do to encourage your settlement partners to embrace electronic closings.

Buyer offers, client tours, and listings all picked up in May, according to NAR’s confidence index. On average, homes that closed in May saw about three offers. Read more highlights.

The silent generation, people ages 74 to 94, made up the smallest share of buyers by age in 2019, at 6%; they represented 8% of sellers.

In a comment letter, NAR spells out four factors that should guide any expansion of the Federal Home Loan Bank system.

NAR is advocating for 501(c)(6) organizations to be eligible for funding through the Main Street Lending Program.

You can present and communicate to clients remotely with the RPR Mobile™ app. Here’s how to create buyer tours to keep your clients up to speed on local market conditions and new listings. Plus, you’ll get some great tips on how to conduct a virtual home tour.

Check out the latest post on the RLI blog for tips you can share on what rural buyers need to know when purchasing land on which to build their new home.

NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program has been providing benefits to REALTORS® like you for more than 20 years. Find out which partner anniversaries we’re celebrating this year — and how you might benefit. From access to vision insurance to print and copy services, find out how to save on what you need.

Cybercrimes are on the rise, and your high-value transactions are a prime target. Make sure your broker knows about CyberPolicy®, a REALTOR Benefits® Program partner offering comprehensive cyber liability options with exclusive coverage — for you and your clients.

Treat yourself with a summer road trip. Enjoy special member savings up to 30% off car rental base rates from Avis and Budget through the REALTOR Benefits® Program. Terms and conditions apply. Your rental must begin by Sept. 15.

Take advantage of the current MVP offer. Get a free download of The Little Orange Book: Sales and Marketing Rules to Live By for REALTORS® when you use any RPR resource offered in the Right Tools, Right Now program by July 15.

A new educational video series demonstrates the importance of designations and certifications. Check out the playlist to see videos that have been posted, thanks to the Center for REALTOR® Development. You can also save the playlist and subscribe so you’ll be the first to see new videos.