Coronavirus Resources


Updated 9:30 a.m. CT, April 2, 2020

Real Estate as "Essential Business" from NAR General Counsel

The text below appeared in an email from Katie Johnson, general counsel for the National Association of REALTORS®:

Good morning.

Many have asked what it means to be considered an "essential service". Ultimately, your state executive order setting forth such designation will have the answer and it is imperative that you adhere to the order exactly as prescribed. The attached spreadsheet includes links to the state orders.

In general, being deemed an essential service means that you have been included on a list of dozens of industries and workers deemed to play a critical role in your community by ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

It means you have the special responsibility and opportunity to continue operations if you choose to but not if you don't.

It means you have the special responsibility and mandate to adhere to your state's executive order regarding "essential services".

It means you have the special responsibility and mandate to take all necessary health and safety precautions, including those mandated in the state executive order such as holding no in-person showings, limiting all other in person activity, and observing social distancing guidelines set forth by the CDC.

It means that individuals with immediate housing needs can be served by a real estate professional – whether those needs arise from pending transactions or sudden change in economic stability from job loss or uncertain future.

It means that we all have a special responsibility to lead by example, to do what we think is best for our communities and ourselves, and to do what we think best for the reputation of the industry. I cautiously assert that regardless of whether your state deems "real estate" to be an essential service, that following your state's order is a basic requirement for all and that actually doing so makes you neither good nor bad, but compliant.

Please, know your state's order and follow it. Decide for yourself whether or not to continue working if permitted in your state and avoid criticizing those who make a different decision. And remember, REALTORS® can take no safer guide than that which is the foundation of our Code of Ethics, embodied in the Golden Rule, "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you."

Be well and stay safe.

Katie Johnson
General Counsel & Chief Member Experience Officer | Legal Affairs & Member Experience

Updated 9:30 a.m. CT, April 1, 2020

WRA Document Regarding Local Boards and MLSs as "Essential Business"

Under Gov. Evers’ "safer at home" executive order, local REALTOR® associations and MLSs support an Essential Business and thus are deemed an Essential Business under the Order. The WRA created a document to further explain the status of local boards and MLSs under the order.

Download the PDF

Updated 4:15 p.m. CT, March 24, 2020

WRA Letter to Members Regarding "Essential Business"

In response to Gov. Tony Evers' "safer at home" executive order issued today, the WRA drafted a letter to all WRA members identifying their status as “essential business” under the order. While this letter is not a legal document, it is intended to serve as a resource for you to carry with you in case your status is questioned.

Download the PDF letter

The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association is one of the largest trade associations in the state of Wisconsin, representing over 16,500 professionals statewide. Its membership includes REALTORS®, appraisers, home inspectors, affiliate members and other professionals involved with the real estate process. Members can take full advantage of a wide variety of products and services to assist with day-to-day business, including a legal staff, education offerings and political representation, as well as several print and online publications.

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