Stay informed, COVID-19 resources for you and your agents

Writen by Betsy Urbance |

Published: April 16, 2020 |

Reading Time: 4 min

Many of you may be overwhelmed with the volume of information relating to the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) hitting your computers, your phones, your televisions and your news outlets. Illinois REALTORS® has been hard at work these last few weeks (seems like years) searching out, sifting through and distilling COVID-19 related information in an effort to provide as much understandable and relevant content possible for the benefit of our members who need it the most.

Betsy UrbanceElizabeth A. (Betsy) Urbance
General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Services

You are well aware that real estate and related services were included as essential businesses in Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order filed on March 20, 2020 and clarified by the IL Department of Economic Opportunity (DCEO) on April 1, 2020. This means that real estate brokerage companies are allowed to continue operations but under the constraints currently in place according to the Order and the DCEO guidance, and while practicing social distancing and cleansing protocols established by CDC. It remains a decision for individual companies whether to continue operations and if so, how they will operate during this difficult time.

Matters of concern fall under several different categories, and if you go to our COVID-19 web page you will find many different, but relevant topics covered there.

Here is a “map” of our page where we endeavor to give you the most accurate information available:

Quick Updates

In this section, you will see links to items that are “top-of-mind” issues for many. Examples include updates to the Governor’s Executive Order, expansion and current status of federal unemployment and loan programs, DCEO prohibiting open houses and showings for tenant-occupied rental units during this emergency. You will also see a link to the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act, where NAR has a well-organized list of subjects addressed by this Act.

Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois REALTORS® Legal Hotline Attorney, Anneliese Fierstos, has been responding to many COVID related calls and emails. We have been tracking common concerns and compiled them in our FAQ section where you will quite likely find questions you have experienced in the last several weeks. Some of these questions and answers are included in this issue along with a link to the rest of our FAQs. We update this section regularly.

NAR and Federal Updates

Illinois REALTORS® maintains a list of helpful links from NAR or the federal government. You will find items covering transaction guidance, open house guidance and mortgage and finance information. If you have employees, you will be interested in new federal legislation dealing with employment issues and benefits:  Impact of H.R. 6201 “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” on NAR Members. There is additional information on the CARES Act, appraisal information, HUD updates and much more.

News from Illinois REALTORS®

We post daily, if not twice daily blogs on the issues most concerning to our industry members.  For instance, we continue to follow the progress of the IL Dept. of Employment Security (IDES) progress as this agency attempts to configure its systems to accept unemployment insurance applications from independent contractors/self-employed persons. Illinois has never had to handle these claims before, so it is currently trying to establish the platform to handle these claims. In order to apply for the federal money made available under the CARES Act, persons must apply through their own state. Stay tuned to this issue as Illinois REALTORS® constantly monitors developments.

State of Illinois Updates

Important information related to your Illinois practice is housed in this section. You will find the announcement that broker continuing education and renewal deadlines were extended until September 30, 2020. There are COVID related resources available from the IL Dept of Financial and Professional Regulation, information related to the closing of the PSI testing centers, IL Dept. of Public Health and a copy of the Executive Order.

Local Updates

This very important section provides a list of local governments that have provided information regarding changes to the real estate transaction process, such as those for local Recorder’s offices, Real Estate Transfer Taxes and other transfer requirements. You can check this section to see process updates for your area if your area responded to our requests for information.

CDC Resources

Illinois REALTORS® has provided several links here related to the virus, health issues, what to do if you are sick, what are the symptoms, common protocols, and quite importantly information about the danger of stigmatizing.

About the writer: Elizabeth A. (Betsy) Urbance, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Services has served the association’s members as General Counsel since 2018 and prior to that she was Legal Hotline Attorney since 1994. Urbance is a 1984 graduate of Western Illinois University and received her law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1987. She is licensed in both Illinois and Missouri.

Your Illinois REALTORS® Legal Team