The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools, businesses, and government offices to close in New Jersey. As Realtors®, your business is being impacted in a number of ways, but we're doing all that we can to help mitigate the economic effects during this unprecedented event. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.
No. There is a ban on open houses under Executive Order 107.
- Per Governor Murphy's March 30 clarification to Executive Order 107, "Realtors can operate and show houses to prospective buyers on a 1-on-1 basis or to immediate families. There is still a prohibition on open houses." We continue to urge our members to exercise extreme caution with their clients. New Jersey Realtors® encourages the use of virtual tools, such as FaceTime, for showings (at the seller’s discretion.) Since Gov. Murphy's April 8 Executive Order requiring residents wear masks in retail stores, New Jersey Realtors® now recommends all members who choose to perform a one-on-one in-person showing wear a mask and recommend your clients wear one as well.
- Yes, you may continue to work and close your transactions. If an in-person closing is necessary, you must practice safe social distancing as established by the CDC.
On March 30, Gov. Murphy clarified Executive Order 107 with an Administrative Order: "Individual appointments to view real estate with realtors by individuals or families shall be considered essential retail business for the purposes of paragraph 6 of Executive Order No. 7. However, open houses will be considered impermissible gatherings in accordance with paragraph 5 of Executive Order No. 107."
A quick note to our membership—We did not ask to be deemed essential; we did reach out to the governor's office for clarification of his expectations on how we were to proceed as an industry under Executive Order 107. The clarification on the governor’s Executive Order was sought only to determine what was permissible for those renters, buyers, or sellers who are in immediate need of real estate services. Situations where there is an immediate need could include: a renter whose lease ends during the EO, end of a winter rental, those who needed to buy or sell for health or financial reasons that existed before COVID-19, those in pending transactions who needed guidance, or a vacant property, to name just a few. As a state association, we are always trying to best inform our members about what is and is not allowable based on the most current state laws, regulations, and orders—we needed the clarification from the governor’s office in order to inform our membership on what was allowed during this unprecedented event. To be clear, we suggest all showings be held through virtual options. As a New Jersey Realtor®, you should not take this action by the governor to mean you must continue your business.
- There is a bill allowing remote notary waiting for Gov. Murphy’s signature. The requirements are as follows:
- The notarial officer must have personal knowledge of individual, satisfactory evidence of ID by a witness, or two different proofs of ID by the individual.
- The notarial officer must be able to reasonably confirm that two parties have the same document in front of them.
- The notarial officer must keep audio & visual recording of the performance of the notarial act.
The bill must still be signed into law.
- In certain municipalities where they are waiving the Fire Certificate and Certificate of Occupancy inspections, your client should check with the municipality and consult their attorney for guidance.
We requested statewide guidance from the NJ Department of Community Affairs, but they have indicated it does not fall under their jurisdiction. The guidance they offered was with regards to new construction only.
The Department of Community Affairs released new guidance for fire inspection certificates, available here.
- Yes. There are three new forms available for your transactions:
- Addendum to Contract of Sale
- Addendum to Seasonal Leases
- Buyer/Seller Release Form
- If any of your clients have questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic affects any of the deadlines or other issues in their sales contract or lease, you should advise them to consult an attorney about how the pandemic affects their individual transaction.
- The Seasonal Lease Addendum can be used for both. The Addendum can be used for new seasonal leases when the landlord and tenant sign the lease. The Addendum can also be used for existing seasonal leases if the landlord and tenant both agree. Please note, this Addendum is not to be used for leases that are for one year or more. The NJ Supreme Court’s decision in the attorney-review case specifically says that real estate salespersons can prepare leases for less than one year without attorney review but leases for one year or more must include the attorney-review provisions. Thus, no attorney-review provisions are required in seasonal leases or the Addendum to the seasonal lease.
- No. There is a moratorium on all evictions per Executive Order 106. page three, section 1.
- The next deadline for continuing education is not until April 30, 2021. There are no deadlines this year.
The link below is a guide from NAR for Realtors on the Coronavirus Coronavirus: A Guide for Realtors
Businesses with employees are required to provide a hazard-free workplace under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. At the same time, employers with 15 or more employees must comply with the federal anti-discrimination law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Resources are now available to assist REALTOR® associations and brokerages who have employees meet their obligations under both federal laws. Resources include OSHA Resources, Sample Preparedness Plan for Circumstances Relating to Covid-19, ADA Resources, and Disaster Preparedness Resources.
Please click the link below for the resources from NAR
For Property Owners:
For property owners, the link below provides resources for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Resources include student loan debt, VA Home Loan Program, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Department of Labor (DOL), Banks, American Land Title Association (ALTA), and more.