Monday, May 18, 2020

The Skinny - March 2020

OPEN HOUSE CONSIDERATIONS - On May 13th, Governor Walz indicated that he will be ending the “Stay at Home” order (EO 20-48) for Minnesotans.


Please consider adopting a plan that incorporates site-specific best practices surrounding health and wellness, social distancing, cleaning, sanitation and protection, and operations and communications with your sales associates, clients, and visitors in m ind. Following are more specific items for your consideration.
Health
  • Consider adopting company protocols for sales associates or office staff who are ill or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 before they commence an open house or showing. Per the Minnesota Department of Health all persons who are sick should stay home.
  • Consider OSHA safety protocols for workers when they will be meeting with the public.
  • Consult with your seller clients about whether and how consumers will enter their property during the listing and
    marketing of the property.
  • Outline steps the to minimize spread of the virus and comply with health and safety requirements before offering
    showings or open houses and during and after an open house or showing including:
Protecting Vulnerable Populations: The CDC recommends that people who are in this category for a higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from other people as much as possible.
Older Adults (65+)
People living in long-term care facilities People with Asthma
People with HIV
People at High Risk of Severe Illness

Hand Hygiene: Consider the following:
Requiring workers and customers to wash or sanitize hands prior to entry and after exiting the property.
Providing hand washing stations or 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer for use prior to entering and after exiting the property.
Posting 
hand hygiene posters

Respiratory Etiquette: Consider the following:
Requiring cloth face mask coverings for persons entering the property. The CDC now recommends wearing simple cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Providing tissues and receptacles for immediate disposal.
Posting 
respiratory etiquette postersLimiting the amount of time allowed in the property

Consider measures to prohibit ill persons from entering the property such as:adopting the Minnesota Department of Health screening checklist; orposting a version of the MDH Stop! Help Protect our Residents posters asking ill people not to visit; or utilizing the MN Symptom Screener or Self-Screen Tool
Social Distancing
• Evaluate the property space for access and regulate visitor movement within the property maintaining at least six (6) feet of separation.
You will need to ensure that workers and customers engage in social distancing.Do not allow workers and customers to congregate in rooms that don't allow social distancing. Do not allow gatherings of 10 or more persons.
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• Create and follow a business plan for social distancing within the home.Consider adjusting the flow through the property such as limited or one-way movement through hallways,
bedrooms or other tight spaces where appropriate distancing may be difficult.Change configurations in the home if needed to adjust the flow to accommodate social distancingConsider the use of signs or other customer communication measures to control building access and regulate
customer movement.• Consider ways to make interactions between customers and associates as contactless as reasonably possible.
Consider requesting the seller open insider doors and turn on lights so visitors will not need to. Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • Consult with your client before using any cleaning products and recommend that your client disinfect their home before and after the open house, especially commonly touched areas like doorknobs and faucet handles.
  • There may be cleaning and disinfecting requirements in MN if holding an open house to the general public. Work with your seller client to follow CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidance on maintaining regular cleaning and frequent high touch disinfecting .
  • Consider prohibiting visitors’ use of the home’s bathroom or other facilities and adopt cleaning and disinfecting protocols if they are utilized.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Updated 5/8

Governor Walz’s latest Executive Order (Order 20-48) continues to list real estate transactions as Critical Sector work, including the same restrictions, and extends the Stay at Home order through May 17, 2020.  The Governor’s Order 20-48 contains the following pertinent provisions that may affect your real estate business:
  1. REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS EXEMPT: Real estate transactions have remained on the governor’s list of Critical Sector work. This category is limited to workers who facilitate and finance real estate transactions and real estate services, including appraisers and title services. All workers and personnel facilitating and financing real estate transactions are exempt from the prohibition to Stay at Home ifthey can’t do telework or virtual work at their home or residence and/or perform work that can only be done outside their home or residence. 
  2. RESTRICTIONS/REQUIREMENTS FOR EXEMPT WORKERS: Certain other restrictions apply for exempt workers.  Please see our QA regarding restrictions/requirements for further details.
  3. MASKS AND FACE COVERINGS: Minnesotans are now strongly encouraged to wear manufactured or homemade cloth face covering at all times when they leave their homes and travel to any public setting where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Minnesotans are also encouraged to follow face covering guidelines issued by MDH and CDC until this executive order is rescinded.
  4. NO UNNECESSARY TRAVEL: The order continues to encourage all Minnesotans to stay close to home and strongly discourages engaging in any unnecessary travel;  
  5. EXEMPTION TO MOVE: Allows an exemption for individuals to move to a new home or place of residence provided they follow the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Guidelinesto the maximum extent possible;
  6. “WORKERS” and “PERSONNEL”: Defines “workers” and “personnel” to include owners, proprietors, employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns;
  7. MINIMUM BASIC OPERATIONS: Exempts workers from the Stay at Home order that support minimum basic operations in business and other organizations.
  8. NON-CRITICAL EXEMPT BUSINESS: The order allows office-based businesses to return to their workplace upon the businesses’ completion of, and compliance with, certain requirements.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Dan Dekker has virtual viewing!

MARCH RE Numbers

March Housing Strong Despite Arrival of Pandemic

Even with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and a month capped by Governor Walz's "Stay at Home" Order, sales of residential real estate were up across the state in March. New listings increased +13.6% over a year ago, and closed sales went up by +10%

Governor Extends Minnesota's "Stay at Home" Order Until May 4


Real estate transactions were again considered "critical sector" work in the new extended order. 

Q: Are photographers contracted by licensed real estate professionals deemed essential under the executive order?
A: Following additional discussions between MN Realtors® and the Department of Commerce, Minnesota Realtors® can confirm that, according to the Department of Commerce, photographers contracted by licensed real estate professionals are considered "critical sector" workers under the extended "Stay at Home" order.


How does the Order Extension (Order 20-33) impact real estate services? (added 4/9)


On April 8, 2020 Governor Walz rescinded his Executive Order 20-20 and implemented a new order (Order 20-33).  This new order began April 8, 2020 at 11:59 PM and extends the governor’s order to Stay at Home through Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 11:59 PM.
The governor indicated this Order 20-33 is a continued effort to slow the community spread of the disease and ensure our healthcare facilities remain able to accommodate persons in need of intensive medical interventions.
Similar to the previous order, the governor has limited activities of all Minnesotans to only those that are most essential and has stressed the importance of complying with the practice of social distancing at all times.
EXEMPTION TO MOVE: Order 20-33 adds a provision to permit individuals to move to a new home or place of residence, provided that they follow the MDH Guidelines to the maximum extent possible.
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS EXEMPT:
Real estate transactions have remained on the governor’s list of Critical Sector work.
Real estate transactions. This category is limited to workers who facilitate and finance real estate transactions and real estate services, including appraisers and title services.
“Workers” and “personnel” are now defined to include owners, proprietors, employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns.
All owners, proprietors, employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns who facilitate and finance real estate transactions and real estate services, including appraisers and title services, are exempt from the prohibition to Stay at Home if they can’t do telework or virtual work at their home or residence and/or perform work that can only be done outside their home or residence.  It also exempts workers that support minimum basic operations in business and other organizations.
Minimum Basic Operations” include (1) minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’ inventory, preserve the condition of a business’s or other organization’s facilities, physical plant, or equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or related functions; and (ii) the minimum necessary activities to facilitate remote work by workers from their residences (e.g. IT personnel who allow workers to operate remotely or personnel who support remote or distance learning)
The order does not restrict virtual or telework.
SAME RESTRICTIONS APPLY
The exemptions in this new order maintain the same restrictions to the exemption that were in the previous order.  All exempted activities and Critical Sector work must be conducted in a manner that adheres to the following.
Restrictions to the Exemption:
  1. Travel Restriction: These critical exemptions apply ONLY to travel to and from an individual’s home or residence and place of work. 
  2. Can’t Be Done at Home: They also apply ONLY when an individual’s performance of work duties CANNOT be done at their homes or residence;
  3. Must Follow Guidelines:  Any facilitation of real estate transactions must be done to the maximum extent possible, in a manner that adheres to the MN Occupational Safety and Health Standards and the MDH Guidelines and CDC Guidelines related to COVID-19.The MDH Guidelines state that events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.