November 15, 2020
Today, the Governor announced wide ranging restrictions that will go into effect tomorrow, Monday, November 16th through December 14th, to try to curb the surge in new COVID-19 cases in Washington State. Some of these restrictions will impact residential and commercial real estate operations. As of Monday, November 16th:
- All real estate open houses are suspended.
- Professional services should work from home. If you are unable to work from home, those services will be limited to 25% of building occupancy and closed to the general public.
- Please note that private home showings are still permitted by appointment with no more than five (5) people, in addition to the broker, on site with strict social distancing.
Washington REALTORS® and the Northwest Multiple Listing Service have revised the COVID-19 Real Estate FAQ guidance based on this information: REVISED COVID-19 REAL ESTATE FAQ
2021 NPSAR Leadership Announced
RE/MAX Acorn Properties
President-Elect: Camden Schutte
Coldwell 360 Team
Treasurer-Elect: Jodi Dynes
Brown McMillen Real Estate
1-Year Director - Cory Kiehn, Windermere RE Skagit
2-Year Director - Sara Beth Owens, Semanko Realty Group
3-Year Director - Nicole Ganske, Windermere, North Cascades
3-Year Director - Laura Bird, RE/MAX Gateway
September is REALTOR® Safety Month
"Selling Safely: Because it Can Happen to You"
September 23rd, 11am to 12pm.
In this free webinar, Jen Stanbrough, REALTOR®, shares lessons learned since the loss of her close friend and fellow REALTOR®, Ashley Okland, during an open house. She'll discuss the risks agents and brokers face on the job, how to be aware of situational dangers, prepared to keep yourself safe, and avoid risky situations. Jen will also share best habits, tips, and tools all real estate professionals should include in their safety practices.
Register here: Safety Webinars
REALTOR® Safety web banners and social graphics can be found here: Safety Resources for Associations and Brokerages
Download the 2020 REALTOR® Safety Survey here: Member Safety Report
NPSAR GOLF TOURNEY UPDATE
The Golf Committee is grateful that many sponsors including our title sponsor, Homebridge, are donating their full sponsorship amount towards this fundraiser. In addition, an anonymous donor has offered to match up to $5,000 in sponsorship funds! We are asking our generous golfers and NPSAR members to consider a contribution to these worthy charities as well. Individual and 'office collection' donations are greatly appreciated!
We appreciate any assistance you can provide to Friendship House, Habitat for Humanity and Brandon Koetje Scholarship Fund. Please click the link below or contact the association (360) 416-4902 to make your contribution.
Mark your calendar for August 26, 2021 - we look forward to seeing you on the golf course next year.
Erik and Debbie Pedersen
Co-Chairs, NPSAR Golf Committee
2nd Quarter Market Report for Skagit & Island Counties
Jim Neilon, owner of RE/MAX Acorn Properties, Oak Harbor, WA
Scott Friedl, broker with Keller Williams Western Realty, Mount Vernon, WA
Dean Hayes, senior loan officer with Bay Equity Home Loans, Burlington, WA
When the stay at home proclamation was issued in March 2020, many were unsure how that would impact the real estate market moving forward. Would potential home buyers continue to want to buy? Would owners still want to sell?
Within two months, the answer became very clear – the housing market is as robust as ever and it continues to move forward. Most sellers are still getting top dollar for their home, and home buyers continue to benefit from low interest rates.
Going into 2020, the housing market around Skagit County and Whidbey Island was particularly strong. According to the North Puget Sound Association of Realtors®, low interest rates were fueling buyers’ ability to purchase homes, and the scant supply of inventory was continuing to push home prices up. Once Coronavirus (COVID-19) hit the area, a good percentage of sellers pulled their home off the market in fear of contracting the disease as buyers tour their homes.
Read the entire report for Skagit County here.
Read the entire report for Island County here.
2020 REALTOR® Charity Golf Tournament
The REALTOR® Charity Golf Tournament has always been a great opportunity for fellowship, camaraderie, and a real-estate related schmooze-fest, to bring much needed financial assistant to our two major charities: Habitat for Humanity and Friendship House.
It is with great regret that, due to the risk involved, we have chosen to cancel our event this year.
We would like to encourage you to still make a donation to our chosen charities, as they are also struggling this year.
If you have any questions, please contact the NPSAR office.
Thank you to everyone who had already signed up to sponsor this event and to the players!
JUNE 18, 2020
Washington REALTORS® and the Northwest Multiple Listing Service have revised the FAQ guidance to include information for Phases 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 for real estate activities based on the latest information from the Governor's office. Please review the downloadable PDF or FAQ site for clarification on which activities are permitted and the protocols required for permitted activities.
If you have questions on this, or any other real estate legal question, email LegalHotline@warealtor.org. The Legal Hotline is a Washington REALTOR® member-only benefit.
Office of Governor Inslee
May 19, 2020
Safety and Health Requirements:
All real estate brokers, firms, independent contractors and industry partners operating during Phase 2 have a general obligation to keep a safe and healthy facility in accordance with state and federal law, and comply with the following COVID-19 worksite-specific safety practices, as outlined in Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Proclamation 20-25, and in accordance with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries General Requirements and Prevention Ideas for Workplaces and the Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations.
Read or download the Real Estate Guidelines PDF here.
Island County, Washington
On May 19, Governor Inslee announced that Island County is now eligible to submit a variance application for entrance into Phase 2 of the Safe Start recovery plan. The Island County Board of Health immediately initiated the Phase 2 variance application process on May 19 through discussion of eligibility criteria set forth by the Governor.
On May 19, Island County’s Health Officer Dr. Joel McCullough submitted a letter of recommendation to apply for a variance to move to Phase 2. The Island County Board of Health voted unanimously on May 20 to approve the recommendation to move to Phase 2, excluding camping and with the requirement that all reopening guidance is followed. The Island County Board of County Commissioners approved the Board of Health’s proposed plan.
Island County Public Health staff are working diligently to compile the application materials for submission to the Washington State Secretary of Health.
For additional information:
Island County Public Health – www.islandcountywa.gov/Health/Pages/COVID-19.aspx
Call Center # 360.678.2301, Mondays through Fridays (8:00am – 4:30pm), Saturdays and Sundays (9:00am – 4:00pm)
WA State Coronavirus Response (COVID-19) – https://coronavirus.wa.gov/
Challenge Seattle – Covid-19 Resources: https://www.challengeseattle.com/
Back to Work Toolkit: https://www.backtoworktoolkit.com/
COVID-19 Office Procedures and Protocol: https://tinyurl.com/ycwulapu
Managing Stress, Fear & Anxiety: https://tinyurl.com/NPSAR-Mental-Health
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR REALTORS®?
On Friday, May 1st Governor Inslee announced an extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order to May 31st and laid out a phased approach to re-opening the State economy. Phase 1 begins Tuesday, May 5th. Please note that this does not affect the modifications that were made to the original Stay Home, Stay Healthy order that allow certain real estate activities to take place.
Phase 2 businesses will include all other real estate activity including commercial real estate, the re-opening of real estate offices, and services such as sign installation. Phase 2 also allows gatherings outside your residence for up to 5 people, which presumably would apply to parts of the real estate transaction such as showings, appraisals notarizations, etc. The Governor’s phased-in plan will apply in counties that have been harder hit by COVID-19. The 10 counties that have not been as impacted by the virus will be allowed to apply for waivers that will let them open up faster (see KING5 story for summary).
Yes. REALTORS® who are independent contractors or
self-employed are eligible to receive PUA. Whether or
not an individual REALTOR® will receive PUA benefits
depends on each person’s circumstances, including
how much a person works and how much income
they have from real estate brokerage and other
work. The end of this document includes examples
of how real estate income must be reported to the
ESD and factored into any PUA benefit amount.
Download the Full PDF
As of Tuesday, May 5, some outdoor recreation will be allowed with appropriate safety precautions, including: fishing; hunting; playing golf; and day use at state parks, state public lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources and at state Fish and Wildlife areas.
“Outdoor recreation is one of the best things we can do to promote physical, mental and emotional well-being for Washingtonians during a time of great stress and isolation," Inslee said. "And springtime in our state is Washington at its best and people want to be out enjoying outdoor activities in a safe and responsible way.
“If we see a sharp uptake in the number of people who are getting sick or are not following appropriate steps, then we won’t hesitate to scale this back again. This is not a return to normal. This is only a beginning phase of relaxing outdoor recreation restrictions.”
Public gatherings, events, team sports and camping, among other things, are not resuming at this time.
Read the full plan on the governor's Medium page.
April 21, 2020
Inslee Announces Washington’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan
Gov. Jay Inslee spoke directly to Washingtonians Tuesday evening to lay out his vision for the eventual safe return to public life amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Inslee said it is unlikely many restrictions under the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order will be modified before May 4. Rather, this plan is intended to be a framework for the loosening of restrictions contingent on a steady decrease of the spread of COVID-19.
It will look more like a turn of the dial than a flip of the switch,” Inslee said in the address. “We’re going to take steps and then monitor to see whether they work or if we must continue to adapt.”
Depending on health projections for the spread of the virus, some distancing restrictions may be in place for weeks or months to come.
“In the coming days, we will receive additional health modeling projecting the course of this virus,” Inslee said. “We hope it will give us cause to begin lifting certain restrictions.”
The return to public life will occur in measured steps. It will be guided by science and informed by our public health needs, our ability to mitigate impacts, and the response of Washington communities.
Read the rest of the plan on the governor's Medium page.
The Senate passed a $2 Trillion Aid Package last night. The bill goes to the U.S. House and then to the President. This bill is significant in that it contains provisions for the self-employed and independent contractors. Read the latest update from NAR
& NWMLS LEGAL COUNSEL JUSTIN HAAG
March 26, 2020
WR Legal Hotline Lawyer Annie Fitzsimmons and NWMLS Legal Counsel Justin Haag have put together this list of frequently asked questions to help us all understand how Governor Inslee's “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” emergency order impacts real estate brokers and related professionals.Contrary to rumors, real estate has not been "shut down" but is working in limited capacity for the next two weeks as mandated by Governor Inslee. Real estate professionals are working to facilitate the 17,000 transactions currently in the pipeline and some of these questions may clarify what REALTORS® can and cannot do, as well as address some of the related industries we all rely upon to close a transaction. Washington REALTORS® has been working with the cabinet-level staff within the Governor's office but the Governor's order remains very clear about certain things. Please review the list of FAQs and if you have further questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Kitty Wallace, WR President | Mar 23, 2020
As you are likely aware, this evening Governor Inslee issued a statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” emergency order to further limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The order will be effective for at least two weeks, and requires that people remain in-home, except for certain necessary personal activities like grocery shopping or obtaining health care. The order also designates specific “Essential Critical Infrastructure” operations that are not subject to the order but must observe social distancing, based largely on recent federal guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security.
The Governor’s release states “Business closures must happen 48 hours after Gov. Inslee signs the order. Many businesses can, and should, continue using telework.”
Real estate businesses are not included in the “Essential Critical Infrastructure” designation, but can remain in operation using electronic and remote functions.