COVID 19 Resources & Information | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

COVID 19 RESOURCES & INFORMATION

Your health and safety are of the utmost importance to us. We are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (known as the coronavirus) and its impact on our community.

This page will continue to be updated with resources to keep you informed. You can also check out NAR’s Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTORS®.

If you have any other concerns or needs, please reach out to us! We are here for you, and we’re all in this together. Thank you for being a Chicago REALTOR®.

Resources for Workplace Re-entry


As we prepare for the reopening of offices, businesses should devise a multi-faceted and phased approach to the workforce’s re-entry to the workplace, which takes into account guidance, regulations, and orders issued by federal, state and local governments and agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and The White House.

The resources in this menu will help to guide you as you make your business decisions and preparations.

NAR President Vince Malta recorded a video sharing insights on preparing to reopen your business considering COVID-19 restrictions and provides best practices to keep yourself and your clients safe.

As the state heads into the next stage of reopening, Illinois REALTORS® General Counsel Betsy Urbance offers updated business practice considerations and guidance. Find health and safety suggestions, new capacity limits, government resources, checklists and more.

In Illinois and Chicago’s Phase 3, real estate offices are allowed to open but will need to take precautions to keep their clients and staff safe. In this June 11 webinar (complimentary for all members), our experts will share best practices to prepare your offices, and the tools and resources you need to put in place in order to return to the office safely and successfully. We’ll give you the information you need, straight from our experts, including the legal and HR perspectives, as well as managing broker and property management guidance. We’ll address safety guidance for brokers, developing a reopening plan, and using your best judgment, as well as address questions like:
  • When can I reopen my office?
  • What does this new phase mean for our office spaces? What changes from now?
  • What steps can I take to ensure that my offices are meeting the new guidelines?
  • How can I best ensure my staff’s wellbeing?
  • What does this new phase mean for the business of real estate (i.e. open houses, showing tenant-occupied spaces, etc.)? What changes from now?
  • Am I liable if someone claims to contract COVID-19 (or another communicable illness) from an interaction in my space?
There will be opportunities for you to get answers to these questions and more! Register today so together, we can do our part to reopen Chicago safely and successfully. Can’t join us? We will be recording the content and adding to our Video Resource Library.

The City of Chicago has released guidance for workplace reopening for different industries, including real estate.

They are providing an infographic of things that may be different when reopening your office, residential and commercial building guidelines, and resources from industry partners. Click here to read the City of Chicago’s Reopening Guidelines.

Once the spread of infectious disease has slowed to a manageable level, public health authorities typically begin to lift restrictions on life and business. You need to be prepared for when this happens—and your property must be ready to reopen in a safe and responsible manner.

It’s important to remember that reopening your property will not be a “flip the switch” event. It will require some planning, preparation, and prioritization. Reopening may occur in phases to support social (physical) distancing and other disease prevention measures.

Operations at office, retail, and industrial properties will be different than those under normal circumstances. Click here to read IREM’s Guide to Reopening Your Property.

As Illinois enters Phase 3 of the recovery from COVID-19, IDFPR released guidance to address ongoing questions about real estate service in this phase. Click here to view the basic guidelines for real estate professionals and profession-specific guidelines to follow.

NAR is offering members a COVID-19 showing guidance resource to help formulate best practices and guidelines for showing properties and preparing for business in the new normal. To access this resource, click here.

NAR recommends you consider establishing a cross-functional COVID-19 Task Force, with representatives from across the organization, including human resources, legal, and facility operations, to prepare and monitor the re-entry of the workforce, as well as the evolving circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Their checklist provides an overview of some of the key considerations the COVID-19 Task Force should consider when developing the organization’s plan for the workforce’s re-entry to the workplace.

NAR has just released new COVID-19 and PPE products to its REALTOR® Team Store. Click here to purchase masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, antibacterial wipes and more to ensure you’re prepared to re-enter your office and begin business again.

As many communities and businesses are re-opening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for people to resume some daily activities as safely as possible; please share it with your members and colleagues. In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Financial Assistance & Emergency Legislation


(DISCLAIMER: This information is constantly changing. Illinois REALTORS® legal team will provide updates on how this affects employees of a brokerage; broker-owners; sponsoring brokers, etc.)

According to Illinois REALTORS®:

As of March 26, 2020, all IDES offices are closed to the public and an in-person application is not available. Applications can be processed online and by telephone.

As a REALTOR®, you should be able to keep listing property and, if commission is earned upon closing, that income will likely need to be reported and may impact a portion of any unemployment payments you might be entitled to for a period of time, but it may not disqualify you from all unemployment relief. For specific questions how continued real estate work and commissions may impact eligibility, you should contact your attorney for specific legal advice.

Self-employed and Independent Contractors

UPDATE May 6, 2020: IDES has instructed 1099 Workers to apply for regular unemployment benefits before PUA program goes live. Learn more.

UPDATE April 16, 2020:  IDES recently announced that independent contractors and self-employed persons should begin applying for unemployment benefits now (after originally advising those in these categories to stand down). We are still unsure when the claim will be processed but the guidance does encourage all to apply who think they might qualify. Learn more in the IDES CARES Act Unemployment Benefits Expansion Package FAQ (pdf). This message is dated April 7, 2020 but contains new and different guidance that is more recent. 

Regular employees

If you are a regular employee, you may file now according to the IDES posted guidance as to days of the week associated with your last name.

Employers

Follow guidance provided by IDES.

What if I have already filed an application?

Our best guess at this time is that you may be denied, but should be contacted by IDES at which time you might refile; or file an appeal.  We, are however, awaiting further guidance from IDES and will monitor their information sources for any new, better or different guidance.

The following information will help you contact IDES.

IDES offices are closed to the public until further notice. You may access IDES services using the following methods:

Applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) can prove to be a challenging puzzle.

Illinois REALTORS has put together an explainer video about the financial relief programs available to REALTORS, including:

In this video from NAR, two labor and employment attorneys and two REALTORS® share their expertise and offer advice on the unemployment application process. Watch the PUA & YOU: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Guide for REALTORS®.

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed a $2 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package with overwhelming bipartisan support called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

As more guidance is released by the Administration on how these new programs will be implemented, updates will be provided.

UPDATE April 23, 2020: The House passed legislation to provide a fresh round of funding for coronavirus small-business relief programs championed by the National Association of REALTORS® and available to REALTORS® through the CARES Act. Under the agreement, the PPP will receive $310 billion in new cash, while the EIDL fund will receive an additional $60 billion. The bill sets aside $60 billion of the PPP funding for small and medium-sized community banks, which will provide extra help for self-employed individuals and small businesses that don’t have relationships with larger banks.

UPDATE April 21, 2020: The Senate passed legislation to replenish coronavirus relief funding, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan fund. The House is expected to take up the measure later this week. Learn what you should do to prepare if you wish to take advantage of this funding.

UPDATE April 17, 2020: Aware of the looming shortfall, NAR sent a letter to lawmakers on Monday seeking more funds to keep the programs operating. As of Thursday, the SBA had stopped accepting applications for both the PPP and the smaller EIDL program. NAR will continue to work with policymakers to advocate for REALTORS’® interests going forward.

UPDATE April 16, 2020:  According to official reports, the SBA processed 14 years worth of loans in only 14 days and now the funds allocated for this program are exhausted. Both Congress and Treasury officials are seeking additional appropriations to make more funds available. You will need to check with your local lender to determine if you can still apply while the additional funding requests are pending in Washington. As soon as there is an update on funding, we will inform members immediately.

UPDATE April 21, 2020: The Senate passed legislation to replenish coronavirus relief funding, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan fund. The House is expected to take up the measure later this week. Learn what you should do to prepare if you wish to take advantage of this funding.

UPDATE April 16, 2020:  According to official reports, the SBA processed 14 years worth of loans in only 14 days and now the funds allocated for this program are exhausted. Both Congress and Treasury officials are seeking additional appropriations to make more funds available. You will need to check with your local lender to determine if you can still apply while the additional funding requests are pending in Washington. As soon as there is an update on funding, we will inform members immediately.

The PPP loans are based on the average monthly payroll expenses of a business, multiplied by 2.5 and capped at $10 million. They are intended to cover expenses for a business during any 8-week period between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. They can be used for payroll costs, rents, mortgage interest and utilities. If a business owner maintains a certain level of payroll expenses and employee numbers during that 8-week period, the loan is 100% forgiven; as employees go below those levels, the forgivable amount is phased out.
In addition to small businesses that meet current SBA requirements, any business with 500 or fewer employees, sole proprietors, independent contractors and “gig economy” workers qualify for the 7(a) PPP loans.

KEY DATES:
Beginning April 3, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for SBA 7(a) PPP loans with an approved SBA lender. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning April 10.

Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses are available here.

UPDATE: April 14, 2020: Check out FAQs from the Treasury and SBA here.

UPDATE: May 15, 2020: The Treasury Department released new guidance pertaining to how the government will review PPP loan borrowers’ good-faith certifications of loan necessity. For more information on this guidance, please visit here.

UPDATE: June 18, 2020: On Wednesday, June 17, the SBA and U.S. Treasury Department offered automatic forgiveness for certain independent contractors and create a broader application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The updated forms clarify that the “owner compensation” amount automatically forgiven for borrowers who use a 24-week covered period, as opposed to the original eight-week period, is equal to 2.5 times their average monthly net income. Based on this, independent contractors with a 24-week loan can have the full amount automatically forgiven under the new guidelines. Read about the updates here.

UPDATE: July 18, 2020: NAR is offering a Protect Your Credit guide that explains provisions implemented by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to protect consumers’ credit scores. Like its companion piece, Protect Your Investment, this brochure can be customized with Association or REALTOR® logos and is available in English and Spanish. Download them here.

UPDATE April 21, 2020: The Senate passed legislation to replenish coronavirus relief funding, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan fund. The House is expected to take up the measure later this week. Learn what you should do to prepare if you wish to take advantage of this funding.

UPDATE April 16, 2020:  According to official reports, the SBA processed 14 years worth of loans in only 14 days and now the funds allocated for this program are exhausted. Both Congress and Treasury officials are seeking additional appropriations to make more funds available. You will need to check with your local lender to determine if you can still apply while the additional funding requests are pending in Washington. As soon as there is an update on funding, we will inform members immediately.

The EIDL grants are a new feature of the EIDL program. SBA EIDL loans are available for small businesses that have suffered economic harm during a declared disaster. The COVID 19 crisis has been declared an eligible disaster. The limit on these loans is $2 million. Under the CARES Act, applicants can receive a $10,000 advance on their EIDL loans from lenders, which will be disbursed within three business days of applying. That $10,000 advance would be forgivable. EIDL loans can be used to provide paid sick leave to employees unable to work due to COVID-19, maintaining payroll, meeting increased costs due to supply chain disruptions, rent or mortgage payments, and repaying debt obligations.

Under the CARES Act, an EIDL is available to any small business or business with 500 or fewer employees (or an industry size standard above 500 set by the Administration) that experiences an economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. This includes sole proprietors, independent contractors, tribal businesses and cooperatives.

A business must make a good-faith certification that it is suffering an economic injury due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The SBA has updated its EIDL application page to reflect the new streamlined process for COVID-19 relief.

Access NAR’s EIDL FAQs here.

The City of Chicago recognizes that COVID-19 has put a difficult burden on the business and non-profit community. As a response to this challenge, the City of Chicago has established the $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund (the Resiliency Fund), which will provide small businesses and non-profits with emergency cash flow during this health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans.

The Resiliency Fund is structured to complement the new federal Paycheck Protection Program that the Small Business Administration (SBA) will launch shortly. The City and its partners will seek to provide all Resiliency Fund loan applicants with the best offer available, including from the SBA’s new program. All loan applications will be administered through lending partners, including Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana and the Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF). The Fund continues to build partnerships with additional lenders to help provide loans to small businesses and non-profits all over Chicago.

This was the first piece of legislation passed in mid-March to to provide support to workers and families during the coronavirus pandemic. Included in the legislation is aid for self-employed contractors and small business owners.

If you or your clients are homeowners experiencing financial hardship directly or indirectly related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac, contact your loan servicer (the company listed on your mortgage statement) right away to discuss your options.

Whether you’re facing job loss, reduced income, illness or other issues that impact your ability to make your monthly mortgage payment, Freddie Mac is working to ensure you are protected. Learn more.

During this unprecedented time, the National Association of REALTORS® understands that access to health care options may be top of mind for members. Telemedicine is playing an essential role today as we navigate uncharted territory and the need for virtual healthcare.

NAR previously supported members by funding 2 months of Members TeleHealth as a benefit for those who do not currently have access to telemedicine, free enrollment which ended May 31.

Moving forward, REALTORS may pay $7/month for TeleHealth access. This is an ongoing, significantly-reduced rate.

Enroll and learn more here.

According to NAR research, nearly two-thirds of NAR’s membership obtain their health coverage through a spouse’s employer-sponsored health plan, Medicare, or a health plan purchased in the Affordable Care Act’s “individual” market. Ten to fifteen percent, however, remain uninsured.

NAR recognizes that the COVID-19 national emergency presents additional challenges, particularly to members and their families’ health and well-being, as the Nation continues to weather the public health and economic storm. Congress and the Administration recently responded with a number of public policy changes to help bolster health insurance plans and ease requirements for more individuals to obtain treatment and insurance. Click here for a high-level summary of these changes, what COVID-19-related medical services may be covered, along with helpful links and resources on these benefits.

  • The Chicago City Treasurer has put together a helpful website with financial resources. Please visit The Help You Need & Where to Find It for information on many financial resources.
  • Working Credit is an organization that can help provide you with assistance on how to navigate your personal financial situation and help you make decisions that will be best for your financial wellness in the long term. If you have specific questions or need advice, visit their website.
  • Operation Hope provides financial emergency preparedness and recovery assistance through their Hope Inside Disaster Program to individuals, families and businesses, either directly or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.

Transactional FAQs & Resources


The COVID-19 Addendum to Purchase and Sale Contract can be used as an addendum to an existing contract should delays have occurred as a result of COVID-19. (i) The parties to each deal are not required to use the addendum or alter their contracts; and (ii) if they do use it, they need to negotiate the addendum and consult their own attorneys.

No, CAR is not planning to issue a COVID-19 disclosure or indemnification agreement at this time.  Use of such COVID-19 disclosures and indemnification forms may not be consistent with the Fair Housing Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act, and may be unenforceable.  Moreover, use of such forms may provide brokers and others a false sense of security that may increase the risk of the transmission of COVID-19.  Due to the shortage of testing, the long incubation period after exposure, and the fact that many with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic, CAR does not believe that the use of disclosure and hold harmless forms effectively mitigates the risk of the transmission of COVID-19.  CAR continues to strongly recommend that its members and members of the real estate industry avoid face-to-face real estate practices, including showings, as much as practicable until it is safe to do so.

Members should consult with their own attorneys before using COVID-19 disclosure and indemnification agreements.

Yes. Real estate brokers are permitted to go to their offices to engage in real estate services. However, members should consult with their managing brokers to ensure compliance with any company policies that may be put in place to keep people safe.

If brokers decide to go to their offices, brokers must, as much as reasonably possible, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person while at the office.

In addition, the Executive Order requires Essential Businesses to take proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements at the office, including where possible:

  • Designating with signage, tape, or by other means six-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance;
  • Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers;
  • Implementing separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers; and
  • Posting online whether an office is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely.

However, members should understand that, just because those providing real estate services (and their clients) are permitted to go to their office, does not mean that they are required to do so or should. CAR encourages its members to follow any guidance provided by the CDC, State, medical professionals, and take all prudent and common-sense precautions to limit the risk of unnecessary exposure to, and transmission of, COVID-19.

UPDATE: June 3, 2020: PER ILLINOIS REALTORS® GUIDANCE: As our Illinois regions move into Phase 3 of the Governor’s restoration plan, many of the now-familiar safety measures remain in place. While some business practices will now be legally permissible, this doesn’t mean that all available options should be immediately employed.

Prior to May 29, 2020, tenant-occupied unit showings were prohibited per the Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO’s) guidance interpreting the last gubernatorial disaster order, and vacant or owner-occupied unit showings were limited to no more than 4 people.

As of May 29, 2020, showings of occupied rental properties may be legally permitted, depending on the terms of the particular lease and/or any local, state or federal requirement to give a certain amount of notice to the tenant(s) prior to showing the rental unit. Any showing, after giving the tenant the appropriate notice, must be done in a manner where all the safety measures are observed, that is, physical distancing, face coverings or any other required PPE, small groups, hand washing and sanitization/cleaning of surfaces.

  • Best Practice: Before entering a tenant-occupied unit, obtain the tenant’s express consent before showing a tenant-occupied unit.

Showings of vacant or owner-occupied units are permitted if necessary and scheduled in advance (virtual showings are preferred) but limited to no more than 10 people (including owners and brokers who might be present in the property), with social distancing where possible, face coverings where social distancing can’t be observed and frequent cleaning. 

  • Best Practices: 
    • When conducting a showing or open house, consider having the owner or listing broker open doors including closets and cabinets, turning on lights and opening window coverings to reduce the need to touch surfaces 
    • Incorporate a non-discriminatory appointment policy to cut back on the number of attendees appearing at the same time. 
    • Restrict access after each showing to allow time for disinfecting areas of the home previous attendees viewed. 
    • Consider providing gloves and booties to attendees and requiring face masks for all persons inside the home, even if social distance is maintained.

The Executive Order requires all persons participating in a real estate showing to maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, and where possible, have hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available.

The City has issued recommended guidance titled, “Be Safe.  Residential Buildings.”  In its guidance, the City recommends that real estate professionals provide virtual and self-guided tours as an option and that tours be limited to amenities, model, and vacant units only.

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® will continue to monitor ongoing developments and provide additional information it learns from the City of Chicago. We always advise consulting any office policy your broker may have and working with your legal counsel.

CAR urges all people engaged in real estate services to take prudent and common-sense precautions to limit the risk of unnecessary exposure to, and transmission of, COVID-19 to brokers, their clients, and the general public. Members should consult with their sellers and managing brokers to ensure compliance with any company policies that may be put in place to keep people safe.

CAR strongly recommends that its members and members of the real estate industry avoid face-to-face real estate practices, including showings, as much as practicable until it is safe to do so. Members are strongly encouraged to find alternative ways to engage in showings, such as virtual tours and video conferencing. Members should consult with their sellers and managing brokers to ensure compliance with any company policies that may be put in place to keep people safe.

UPDATE: June 24, 2020: Per Illinois REALTORS®, in Phase 4, real estate brokerages are legally allowed to hold open houses so long as all of the safety measures can be observed. These include social distancing where possible, with face coverings where social distancing can’t be observed and frequent cleaning. Groups of more than 50 are prohibited.

Best Practices:

  • When conducting an open house, consider having the owner or listing broker open doors including closets and cabinets, turning on lights and opening window coverings to reduce the need to touch surfaces.
  • Incorporate a non-discriminatory appointment policy into “open house-day” procedures to cut back on the number of attendees appearing at the same time.
  • Restrict access after each showing to allow time for disinfecting areas of the home previous attendees viewed.
  • Consider providing gloves and booties to all attendees of an open house and requiring face masks for all persons inside the home, even if social distance is maintained.
  • Consider having an “open house” policy regarding use of PPE for showings and open houses.

Even if legally permissible, brokerages should carefully consider whether open houses are the safest option for their clients, their brokers and consumers. Each attendee brings a different set of contacts into the property. Brokerage policies should consider incorporating the use of technologies (like virtual open houses) to reduce physical presence, especially for the early stages of marketing properties. Use appointments in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner to physically view the property and incorporate the best practices from above, while keeping the number of contacts smaller.

UPDATE: June 3, 2020: PER ILLINOIS REALTORS® GUIDANCEPrior to May 29, 2020, open houses were prohibited per the Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO’s) guidance interpreting the last gubernatorial disaster order.   

Beginning on May 29, 2020, real estate brokerages are legally allowed to hold open houses so long as all of the safety measures can be observed. These include limiting groups to ten people or less (including owners and brokers who might be present in the property), social distancing where possible, with face coverings where social distancing can’t be observed and frequent cleaning. 

Best Practices: 

  • When conducting an open house, consider having the owner or listing broker open doors including closets and cabinets, turning on lights and opening window coverings to reduce the need to touch surfaces 
  • Incorporate a non-discriminatory appointment policy into open house day procedures to cut back on the number of attendees appearing at the same time. 
  • Restrict access after each showing to allow time for disinfecting areas of the home previous attendees viewed. 
  • Consider providing gloves and booties to all attendees of an open house and requiring face masks for all persons inside the home, even if social distance is maintained.

Even if legally permissible, brokerages should carefully consider whether open houses are the safest option for their clients, their brokers and consumers. Each attendee brings a different set of contacts into the property. Brokerage policies should consider incorporating the use of technologies (like virtual open houses) to reduce physical presence for the early stages of marketing propertiesUse appointments in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner to physically view the property and incorporate the best practices from above, while keeping the number of contacts smaller. 

The City has issued recommended guidance titled, “Be Safe.  Residential Buildings.”  In its guidance, the City recommends that real estate professionals provide virtual and self-guided tours as an option and that tours be limited to amenities, model, and vacant units only.

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® will continue to monitor ongoing developments and provide additional information it learns from the City of Chicago. We always advise consulting any office policy your broker may have and working with your legal counsel.

CAR urges all people engaged in real estate services to take prudent and common-sense precautions to limit the risk of unnecessary exposure to, and transmission of, COVID-19 to brokers, their clients, and the general public. Members should consult with their sellers and managing brokers to ensure compliance with any company policies that may be put in place to keep people safe.

UPDATE: May 15, 2020: NAR offers members a COVID-19 showing guidance resource to help formulate best practices and guidelines for showing properties and preparing for business in the new normal. To access this resource, click here.

CAR strongly recommends that its members and members of the real estate industry avoid face-to-face real estate practices, including open houses, as much as practicable until it is safe to do so. Members are strongly encouraged to find alternative ways to engage in showings and open houses, such as virtual tours and video conferencing. Members should consult with their sellers and managing brokers to ensure compliance with any company policies that may be put in place to keep people safe.

Again, CAR urges all people engaged in real estate serves to take prudent and common-sense precautions to limit the risk of unnecessary exposure to, and transmission of, COVID-19 to brokers, their clients, and the general public. Members should consult with their sellers and managing brokers to ensure compliance with any company policies that may be put in place to keep people safe.

UPDATED May 13: You asked for the ability to add virtual open house showing information in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this feature will be a permanent part of listing options available to brokers.

MRED now has a new virtual open house feature for your listings in connectMLS.  A “Live Stream” field now appears in the “Tour/Open House” section of add/edit. Select “yes” in this field to input a link to the online tour or open house via Zoom, Facebook, Webex, etc.

You can also now search by tour type in Search > Tour/Open House, and virtual tour information is available on Property Detail Reports. MRED is syndicating the “Live Stream” field to third-party vendors; however, this does not guarantee any particular portal will display this information.

Learn more, by watching this video.

UPDATE: June 24, 2020: Per the Illinois REALTORS®, tenant-occupied showings are allowed in Phase 4, depending on the terms of the particular lease and/or any local, state or federal requirement to give a certain amount of notice to the tenant(s) prior to showing the rental unit. Any showing, after giving the tenant the appropriate notice, must be done in a manner where all the safety measures are observed, that is, physical distancing, face coverings or any other required PPE, small groups, hand washing and sanitization/cleaning of surfaces.

Best Practice:

  • Before entering a tenant-occupied unit, obtain the tenant’s express consent before showing a tenant-occupied unit.

UPDATE: June 3, 2020: PER Illinois REALTORS® GUIDANCEPrior to May 29, 2020, showings of tenant-occupied properties were prohibited per the DCEO’s guidance interpreting the last gubernatorial disaster order.

As of May 29, 2020, tenant-occupied property showings may be legal, depending on the terms of the particular lease and/or any local, state or federal requirement to give a certain amount of notice to the tenant(s) prior to showing the rental unit. Any showing, after giving the tenant the appropriate notice, must be done in a manner where all the safety measures are observed, that is, physical distancing, face coverings or any other required PPE, small groups, hand washing and sanitization/cleaning of surfaces.

Best Practice:

  • Before entering a tenant-occupied unit, obtain the tenant’s express consent before showing a tenant-occupied unit.

Chicago has not issued a new executive order that is more strict than the State’s regulations with respect to open houses and showings of occupied rental properties.  It is possible that the City may issue an order that would prohibit such activities.

The City has issued recommended guidance titled, “Be Safe.  Residential Buildings.”  In its guidance, the City recommends that real estate professionals provide virtual and self-guided tours as an option and that tours be limited to amenities, model, and vacant units only.

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® will continue to monitor ongoing developments and provide additional information it learns from the City of Chicago. We always advise consulting any office policy your broker may have and working with your legal counsel.

CAR urges all people engaged in real estate services to take prudent and common-sense precautions to limit the risk of unnecessary exposure to, and transmission of, COVID-19 to brokers, their clients, and the general public. Members should consult with their sellers and managing brokers to ensure compliance with any company policies that may be put in place to keep people safe.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has authorized notarial acts to be performed remotely via “two-way audio-video communication technology.” Pritzker took action via Executive Order on March 26, 2020. Notarial acts, which are defined in the Illinois Notary Act, may be performed remotely as long as the current disaster proclamation regarding the spread of COVID-19 is in effect. With Pritzker’s action, important documents used in real estate transactions which require notarization can now be executed remotely, allowing the transactions to proceed to closing.

Under the order, the two-way audio-video communication technology used by the parties must allow for contemporaneous interaction between the individual signing the document and the witness by both sight and sound. The notary public must be present in Illinois at the time of the notarization, and every interaction must be video recorded and preserved for at least three years. The person signing the document must take several steps to illustrate to the witness what document is being signed, including showing the witness each document being signed as well as telling the witness what the document is. After the signatory executes the document, they must transmit the document by fax or electronic means to the notary public on the same day the document was signed. The order also states that the Illinois Secretary of State’s office will be publishing future guidance on the use of remote notarizations.

The resources at this link provide property owners with assistance during the COVID-19 crisis.

A new Protect Your Investment brochure is available from NAR designed to help homeowners who are struggling to meet their loan obligations. Protect Your Investment offers guidance on working with trusted professionals like REALTORS® and housing counselors at HUD-approved agencies. The brochure also provides information about payment options offered by lenders and tips for avoiding scams. The Protect Your Investment brochure is also available in Spanish.

See also NAR’s Protect Your Credit brochure.

Check out this Apartment Therapy Q&A article about buying and selling during the pandemic – this is an excellent resource for you to share with your clients.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the switch for many to virtual business, we’ve received quite a few questions about Sentrilock lockboxes. We put together a short FAQ to help clarify confusion about one day codes and who can be given access.

Illinois REALTORS®’ Betsy Urbance put together some guidance and information regarding the current pandemic and the impact on real estate brokerage. Click here to access.

We also hosted a town hall with Betsy and association leadership recently. Check out the recording here.

Government & Legislative Resources


The City of Chicago is putting out regular COVID-19 updates. Access the latest here.

City Hall is closed effective March 20, 2020, and will remain closed until further notice. Visit their website for more information and resources.

The State of Illinois is putting out regular COVID-19 updates. Access the latest here.

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® is working on your behalf to ensure your interests are represented at each level of government during the COVID-19 crisis. Things are changing quickly, so we’ve put together a list of resources and answers we currently have. We’ve also noted the questions to which we are still actively seeking answers. Check back to this page regularly for updates!

NAR’s Federal Advocacy team has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure the interests of REALTORS® and their clients are protected in any federal action in response to COVID-19. We are also in constant communication with industry partners to ensure there remains a united front defending the real estate industry and minimizing transaction disruptions during these very difficult times.

In addition to our hotline, stay in touch with the latest on our advocacy efforts on the pandemic by texting COVID19 to 30644. You’ll get information on how we’re fighting for members, and how recently passed legislation affects you. The response you’ll receive will send you to visit NAR.Realtor/coronavirus for the latest information.

As the actions out of Washington evolve daily, click here for a list of ongoing NAR Advocacy efforts that will be updated regularly. You can also check out these advocacy-related FAQs.

This year’s first-ever, all-virtual REALTORS® Legislative Meetings set record levels of participation—more than 26,000 REALTORS® came together from across America for virtual conference sessions focused on education, and forums on putting members first and providing support in uncertain times. Missed anything? The nine conference sessions will be available for viewing on demand for 30 days from Friday, May 15 at 2020.legislative.realtor.

Licensing & Education


The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has extended renewal dates and continuing education (CE) deadlines until September 30, 2020. If you hold a broker license, you are now required to complete CE prior to the extended renewal date to successfully renew your license.In addition, any pre- or post-license or CE course that was required to be provided in a live classroom setting is now allowed to be provided by technological or on-line methods. The live requirement has been waived through July 31, 2020.Our online and webinar CE options are easy to complete while at home practicing safe social distancing! While the broker renewal deadline has been extended until September 30, 2020, our virtual classes will help you knock out your CE credits during any downtime you may have right now. Register now.Due to the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unsure if/when we will be able to schedule classroom courses prior to the deadline. Learn more via Illinois REALTORS® and read the official IDFPR press release.

Property Management Resources


IREM has put together a guide for real estate managers to help you through the pandemic. Click here to access.

IREM has also put together resources on COVID-19. Access them here. If you have any questions or thoughts on IREM’s “From the Front Lines” series, please reach out to Brian at bflozell@irem.org or Denise at dfroemming@irem.org

There are currently three overlapping eviction and foreclosure moratoriums effective in Chicago.

  • The County moratorium covers all Chicagoans and currently lasts through at least May 18
  • The State moratorium also covers all Chicagoans and lasts through the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, and prevents the actual execution of evictions. The Governor’s executive order extending the eviction moratorium also prohibits “commencing,” as well as carrying out, residential evictions.
    • UPDATE July 23: The moratorium has been extended to August 22.
  • The federal moratorium passed in the CARES Act covers HUD-supported housing and housing with federally-backed mortgages, and lasts for 120 days (through July 25).
    • The federal eviction moratorium restricts lessors of covered properties from filing new eviction actions for non-payment of rent, and also prohibits charging fees, penalties or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent.
    • The federal eviction moratorium under the CARES Act does not prohibit the filing of cases that were filed before the moratorium took effect or that are filed after it sunsets, that involve non-covered tenancies, or where the eviction is based on another reason besides non-payment of rent or other fees or charges.

CAR endorsed Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge in April. The pledge states that Chicago’s leading residential housing lenders and landlord associations stand with all Chicagoans by affirming they may provide deferred payments and other relief for eligible renters and mortgage borrowers who demonstrate a significant financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the pledge.

Under Governor Pritzker’s March 20 Stay at Home Executive Order, building management and maintenance is an essential service and may continue. Residents should be staying at home as much as possible to prevent the spread of illness, but may continue to travel to seek essential services, to work if they are an essential employee or to have in-home services or food deliveries. Landlords and building management should take steps to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 in Chicago. The Chicago Department of Public Health has put together this document providing guidance for multifamily residential buildings.

The Community Investment Corporation and The Preservation Compact have compiled relevant resources that may be helpful to building owners and tenants during the COVID-19 health pandemic. Access them here.
With so much discussion around rent payments during COVID-19, the National Apartment Association has released a video explaining the breakdown of $1 of rent. Watch it here.

With so much discussion around rent payments during COVID-19, the National Apartment Association has released a video explaining the breakdown of $1 of rent. Watch it here.

Association Offices & Services During COVID-19


We are closing our physical offices, but we are here for you! Our team will be working remotely to continue providing you the services you need and expect.

  • You can continue to reach us by phone, chat and email.
  • Sentrilock lockboxes may be ordered online or over the phone and will be delivered to you, as long as UPS remains operating.
  • While classroom classes remain cancelled, we have many virtual options for you to complete your CE and professional development during this unexpected downtime, including both webinar and online courses.
  • We are also working on providing new ways for you to connect and network virtually, so stay tuned!
All events will be either canceled or postponed, except for Coffee with Your GADs, which will take place virtually. This includes our annual Sales Awards, which we are working to reschedule, and Illinois REALTORS® annual Capitol Conference in Springfield.

If you have registered for one of our upcoming events, look for an email with further details. All tickets for paid events will be automatically refunded. Please allow 3-5 business days to see the refund on your bank statement.

Questions? Please reach out to our events team.

All in-person classes scheduled will take place virtually until guidelines allow. All new member orientation courses are canceled until guidance allows, and all compliance deadlines have been extended to October 31, 2020. RRES staff will reach out to those of you who have registered for an affected class with an option to transfer into an online option or reschedule for a later classroom date.

Our online CE options are easy to complete while at home practicing safe social distancing! While the broker renewal deadline has been extended until September 30, 2020, our virtual classes will help you knock out your CE credits during any downtime you may have right now. Due to the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unsure if/when we will be able to schedule classroom courses prior to the deadline. Register here.

CAR to You is available in the meantime to assist you with your education and member needs.
Questions? Our education team is here to assist you.

As of Friday, March 13, any association meetings in excess of 10 or more people must take place virtually, including all committee, workgroup and task force meetings. Meetings of 10 or fewer individuals should only be held in person when absolutely necessary. Staff liaisons will be in touch with instructions for their respective committees, workgroups and task forces.

NAR has also issued guidance regarding the upcoming NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C., which will now take place virtually to ensure the full governance of the organization can continue while designing a true virtual meeting and convention. The virtual experience will include, among other components, committee meetings, key sessions, elections and avenues for local and state association participation. More details will be forthcoming.

At this time, we encourage all members to pay fees, including new member applications, classes, transfers, dues, NIREIN and RPAC, with a credit or debit card. Check and cash payment processing will experience delays.

NAR is dedicated to providing members with the latest information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the real estate industry. Their new hotline at 1-800-874-6500 will connect you to a Member Support Representative who can assist with your questions and concerns.

In addition to the NAR hotline, you can stay in touch with the latest on NAR’s advocacy efforts on the pandemic by texting COVID19 to 30644. You’ll get information on how NAR is fighting for members, and how recently passed legislation affects you. The response you’ll receive will send you to visit NAR.Realtor/coronavirus for the latest information.

Everything MRED subscribers need to know about COVID-19 is available here.