Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTORS®

A graphic representation of the COVID-19 virus

Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTORS®

In response to the growing concerns about COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, we hope this dedicated page will provide guidance to help REALTORS® and REALTOR® associations respond to the coronavirus's impact on our industry.

  • Real Estate as an Essential Service: Governor Mike Parson has issued the statewide Stay Home Missouri Order effective Monday, April 6, 2020, through Friday, April 24, 2020. The Order explicitly states that individuals currently residing within the state of Missouri shall avoid leaving their homes or places of residence unless necessary. In order to protect public health and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Order includes specific guidance for staying home, social distancing, businesses and employees, schools, restaurants, firearm sales, and state government buildings. The Order does not prohibit Missourians from accessing essential services, and specifically recognized the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)  Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce advisory list of essential services. "Residential and commercial real estate services, including settlement services" are considered essential under this order.
  • Missouri Real Estate Commission: The Governor had originally ordered that all state office buildings close effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and remain closed until Monday, April 6, 2020. The new Stay Home Missouri Order extends the closure of state office buildings through Friday, April 24, 2020.  Essential personnel will attempt to keep some governmental processes moving; therefore, several MREC employees will be conducting state business from their homes.  No walk-ins at the MREC office are permitted during this time. REALTORS® are encouraged to check the MREC website for updates: MREC e-mail is being monitored. General inquiries can be directed to REALESTATE@PR.MO.GOV. Additional key email addresses are: Licensure issues --; Complaints/Investigation issues --; and Education issues -- During this period of time licenses will not be printed. If the licensee shows “ACTIVE” on the website under the MREC Licensee search with the correct company affiliation, that licensee can conduct real estate business.

    The Missouri Real Estate Commission voted to permit accredited schools to move approved in-seat live classroom courses to distance delivery type method. This allowance will be temporary through June 30, 2020. If the timeframe needs to be adjusted based on the pandemic, they will advise accordingly. Regarding renewals, Broker expiration dates have been extended from June 30, 2020, to August 31, 2020. Salesperson expiration dates have been extended from September 30, 2020 until October 31, 2020. Check the MREC website for many more updates and additional details.
  • Remote/Online Notarization: Missouri REALTORS® has been working with Secretary of State Ashcroft and the Legislature on legislation related to Notary Act/Remote Notary. Given the current pandemic, it is more important than ever that we have the capability to deal with this rapidly changing business environment. At the federal level, NAR is working with other trade associations and industry partners to support the "Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020" (SECURE Notarization Act).  This legislation would continue and expand access to remote online notary (RON). It would permit immediate nationwide use of RON, with minimum standards and provide certainty for the interstate recognition of RON. The SECURE Notarization Act builds on ongoing efforts of lawmakers to promote remote transaction options for consumers. Please refer to the NAR Remote Notarization webpage for the latest information at the federal level. Also, here are additional resources related to Title, Closing and Recording.
  • Unemployment Benefits for Self Employed: The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump, creates a temporary “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” program that extends unemployment benefits to those not traditionally eligible, including self-employed individuals. NAR has created this Unemployment Benefits FAQ and the here is the link to File for Unemployment Benefits in Missouri.
  • Paycheck Protection Program/SBA Loans: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses that maintain their payroll during this emergency. On March 31, the Treasury Department released the application for the SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which you can access here. [If that link is not working, please check back – it can be overwhelmed] Treasury also released a summary guide of the program for borrowers, here. NAR has created this helpful SBA CARES Act FAQs.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Small businesses and sole proprietors can apply beginning April 3; independent contractors and the self-employed can apply beginning Friday, April 10. Applications go directly to SBA lenders, which you can find through the SBA site here.  

Additional Resources:

Local Board/Association Resources: