COVID-19

COVID-19 Real Estate Resource Page

About This Page

Partners Realty has compiled a resource page for clients and consumers which will be updated regularly. It was put together to be the go-to resource page for all things Real Estate as it is continually impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The page is constantly being updated and improved to make it easier for everyone to navigate this very challenging and unusual time in our history.

PARTNERS REALTY - OUR PRIVILEGE:
The Governor (and municipalities) have granted Maine's real estate industry the privilege to conduct business during this public health emergency. Our privilege can be rescinded if REALTORS® are not complying with the procedural and safety guidelines set forth.

At Partners Realty we will be professional, leverage available technology, strive to conduct your work remotely to the maximum extent practicable, and respect the directives of all parties involved in the transaction. The common goal is to get our clients' transaction to a successful closing safely!

Please reach to us at 530-8900 with any questions about the proceedures we are taking, and the procedures the industry is taking to allow us to provide real estate services to our clients in a safe and successful manner.

 

REAL ESTATE GUIDELINES:

UPDTE 5/27/20:

Some of the changes/clarifications include the following:
  • agents and principal parties to select a "few" houses to view in-person after reviewing virtual tours (if available), disclosures, and other property documentation,
  • principal parties and real estate agents only are allowed at showings for residential and vacant multi-unit (> 4 units) properties
  • real estate agents and principal parties are allowed at inspections for residential and vacant multi-unit (>4 units) properties,
  • face coverings and one-use disposable gloves or hand-coverings are required,
  • shoe coverings are at the seller’s discretion for residential and vacant commercial properties,
  • tenant-occupied multi-units (>4 units) continue to have limited access.
Please review and follow the updated Guidelines for Real Estate as an Essential Business carefully!  Click Here
As a visual aid to help summarize the Guidelines, MAR has created this reference chart.

 

DECD CHANGES GUIDELINES FOR REAL ESTATE AS AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS:

The guidelines, established by Maine's Department of Economic and Community Development, now require cloth face coverings in addition to foot coverings and gloves. All other guidelines remain unchanged. Read the updated Guidelines here.
For questions to DECD regarding Essential Business or the Guidelines: business.answers@maine.gov

 

May 4th 2020 City of Portland UPDATE:

https://www.portlandmaine.gov/DocumentCenter/View/27969/City-Council-Order-175-1920-Revised-Emergency-Stay-at-Home-Order-May-4-2020

 

RESTARTING MAINE'S ECONOMY:
On April 29, Governor Mills also released this plan to gradually restart Maine's economy.

COVID-19 TAB ON Maine Association of Realtors WEBSITE: 
MAR has assembled timely resources at: Click Here Check back regularly for updates.

 

April 29th State of Maine Update:
AN ORDER TO STAY SAFER AT HOME:

Maine Governor Janet Mills issued an Executive Order on April 29, "An Order to Stay Safer at Home" that is effective through May 31, 2020.  To continue to protect public health, the effective dates of Executive Orders 14, 19, 28 and 34 FY 19/20 were also extended through May 31, 2020 unless sooner amended. All other provisions of the Orders remain in effect and subject to interpretive guidance. You can find the Executive Orders here.

The Maine Association of REALTORS® has reached out to the Governor's office and the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development for clarification around "checklists" for public-facing real estate offices (and the Maine Association of REALTORS® office) and quarantine restrictions. MAR will release official guidance to our membership as it is received.

Governor Mills Signs Executive Order Allowing Remote Notarizations

April 8, 2020

To reduce in-person contact and promote physical distancing in response to COVID-19, Governor Janet Mills today signed an Executive Order allowing remote notarization. The Order, which takes effect immediately, temporarily suspends the provisions of Maine law that require the physical presence of a notary or witness with certain exceptions. The Order will allow Maine people, especially those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions, to conduct important business that requires sworn statements or affidavits with minimal in-person interaction.

“Permitting remote notarizations will allow Maine people to conduct important business while minimizing in-person interactions, thereby protecting their health,” said Governor Mills.

Under the Governor’s Executive Order, the provisions of Maine Law that require the physical presence of a notary or witness are temporarily suspended with the exceptions of solemnizing marriages; administering oaths to circulators of state or local direct initiative or referendum petitions and nomination petitions of candidates for electoral office; and absentee ballots in state and local elections.

The Order also establishes parameters to conduct remote notarization services in order to safeguard the integrity of transactions and the important personal interests served by them. For example, the notary and signatory must be located physically within the State of Maine and complete the act of notarization or witnessing via two-way audio and video communication to allow for direct interaction in real time.  Specific standards are built into the Order in an effort to continue access to services through remote means while still protecting the reliability of the acknowledgement.

BLOGS & NEWS:

SALES AND VALUES UP IN MARCH:
In a press release to the media today, Maine home sales increased 0.36% comparing March 2020 to March 2019. The median sales price (MSP) was $227,950, an 8.55% increase in that same time period. NAR reports that existing home sales and values were up nationally. Sales decreased and values increased in the Northeast comparing March 2020 to March 2019. For the complete report: Click Here

During this very fluid time, the Real Estate market is performing in unexpected ways.  Here are our recent resources to help you understand what’s happening, and what we think you can expect as information becomes available to us.

What Homeowners Should Know About Mortgage Forbearance

As millions of homeowners are facing unemployment and reduced incomes due to the coronavirus pandemic, making on-time mortgage payments has become increasingly difficult. With mortgage forbearance, homeowners that are facing difficulties paying their mortgage on time and in full due to the pandemic are able to pause or reduce their monthly mortgage payment without penalties.

If you are experiencing difficulties paying your mortgage on time due to the pandemic, here is what you need to know about mortgage forbearance.

What is Mortgage Forbearance?

Mortgage forbearance provides homeowners facing a short-term crisis relief by allowing for reduced or paused monthly mortgage payments for a specific period. Mortgage forbearance is typically requested when a homeowner is dealing with an event, such as job loss, a natural disaster, or major illness, that impacts their ability to pay their mortgage on time.

With forbearance, the total amount of the missed or reduced payments will still be owed and need to be repaid. Your forbearance options can differ depending on the type of loan you have.

Mortgage Forbearance Under the CARES Act

The Federal Government put the CARES Act in place as a relief to the economic changes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under the CARES Act, homeowners facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 can receive forbearance for up to one year. Loans that are backed by GSEs (government sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) will be much easier to obtain forbearances for. The CARES Act made it very clear that these loans should receive an automatic 90 days without even having to qualify. During this time, properties cannot be foreclosed upon and there are several repayment options available once forbearance ends.

If your mortgage is not held by a GSE, we still encourage you to connect with your lender to see if you can qualify for a forbearance if necessary.

Consumer Financial  Protection Program Bureau:

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/guide-coronavirus-mortgage-relief-options/

Freddie Mac Forbearance Information:

http://www.freddiemac.com/about/covid-19.html

COVID-19 Mortgage Resources:
Welcome to our Mortgage Resources page, which contains information on mortgage companies, how they’re responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how that may effect you.

This page is continually updated with information as it becomes available.

If you are concerned about paying your mortgage, be proactive and contact your mortgage company right away.  Many of them are allowing delay of payments until summer without impacting credit.  Be sure to CONFIRM DIRECTLY WITH THEM in writing on the terms and ensure exactly what repayment terms will be, if it will affect your credit, etc.

Click each tab for information on each servicer, their website, and phone number.  We recommend you call FIRST THING in the morning with your loan information ready. If you have an online account, they will likely direct you there to download forms and submit a request.

The vast majority of mortgages are owned by government sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Federal Housing Administration but serviced by mortgage servicers.  To find out who the actual owner of your loan is, use this look up below.

To get an idea of what these servicers should be saying to you and offering to you, please click here to see the direction from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.