Key Highlights

  • Online petition asking federal and state lawmakers to provide financial aid to agents gained 3,300 signatures in one day
  • Petition entitled “Real estate agent relief needed because of COVID-19”

Real estate agents have become proactive in requesting federal and state lawmakers to provide financial relief. Agents engaged Jennifer DuBois to author a petition on their behalf via Change.org. DuBois is the senior vice present of ListReports, a text-based real estate marketing firm.

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Spurred by leadership from Compass’ Robert Reffkin, the National Association of REALTORS® and ANGI Homeservices, DuBois framed this petition advocating for financial relief expressly for real estate professionals around the following targeted points:

  • Emergency Medicaid health insurance for uninsured agents
  • *$100B in government backed low interest loans to replace disappearing commission income
  • *$100B funding for self-employed agents as not specifically targeted on proposed relief bills currently being discussed
  • Assurance of open access to county recorders’ and auditors’ offices nationwide for availability to and accurate maintenance of property records
  • Assurance that banking and lending are defined as “essential services” to enable work outside of shelter-in-place restrictions
  • Relaxation of e-closing restrictions
  • Removal of restrictions on “unlicensed” work locations

Petition signatories have attached their own personal statements to this advocacy effort. Additionally, real estate professionals have looked to Congress to provide financial relief to other “home” professionals and self-employed workers.

You’ll note that asterisks have been added to issues relating to disappearing commission income and self-employed agents as since this petition was written, the Small Business Administration has proposed an emergency loan package entitled “Proposed Paycheck Program” that may well cover these two areas. You’ll find a separate post specifically about that proposed package elsewhere in this week’s calendar section under that title.

Additionally, as of this writing at midnight March 25, notification just came in that the Senate and White House have agreed to a $2T coronavirus rescue package. We will examine that package and report to you whether or not these concerns (and any others) have been included.

Thanks to InmanNews’ Marian McPherson for source data and material.

Also read: Podcast: Agent Bailout Program | Free Agent Survival Guide, What Should I Be Doing Now?, NAR’s & Better Homes & Gardens Coronavirus Guidelines for Agents