The Commission Check / April 2020

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April 2020       


Message from Executive Director Michael L. Kasnic

The Maryland Real Estate Commission has sought to maintain our levels of service to all our customers during these unprecedented times. We recognize that there have been some delays for certain actions, and appreciate your understanding and patience.

The crisis has impacted licensees, and those they have brokerage relationships with. Please be careful as you navigate and address your client's concerns related to buyer worthiness and health. It has come to the commission's attention that licensees have been presenting "mandatory" forms to the other parties to a transaction. The forms the commission has seen are not mandated by any local, state, or federal law, and may be illegal. Additionally, the commission has been made aware of some concerning actions by licensees and/or clients, apparently taken in an attempt to address the health crisis.

Please be advised that all complaints, including those related to this health crisis, will be fully investigated, and appropriate actions taken under the Broker's Act when required.

Finally, as a reminder, ALL written offers must be presented to the seller - no exceptions.

Governor Hogan Extends License Expiration Dates

You are probably aware of the Executive Order issued by Governor Larry Hogan on March 12, 2020, extending license expiration dates to 30 days after the state of emergency has been lifted. We encourage you to continue renewing your license online and complying with your continuing education requirements necessary for license renewal as best you can. Visit our home page and click on the red “renew your license” button to get started. 

Essential Businesses and Following the Stay At Home Order

Governor Hogan ordered all non-essential businesses in Maryland to close by 5 p.m. on March 23, 2020. Read the Stay At Home Directive online. As part of that Order, certain businesses were allowed to remain open if they provide essential services to citizens.

Please note that employees of the Department of Labor are not permitted to interpret the Order on behalf of the governor’s office. Our department has received numerous calls from business owners asking if they are considered “essential services” or not. We understand that it is frustrating not to be certain, but we must refer you to the guidance published by The Governor's Office of Legal Counsel to make that determination. Further guidance was released later. Another help with guidance on the Order was issued after that.

If, after reading the Order and its interpretive guidance, you are still unsure whether or not your business is permitted to operate, there are additional resources to help with clarification. Take the following steps to help make your determination:

See the federal guidelines on critical infrastructure sectors in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s CISA website. Their interpretive guidance and FAQs appear on the home page.

Then, make a good faith effort to act in the spirit of the Order based on:

  1. the Order’s purpose, which is to “reduce the threat to human health caused by the transmission of the novel coronavirus in Maryland, and to protect and save lives”; and
  2. how similar businesses, organizations, and facilities are treated under the Order.

If your business decides to remain open, you must adhere to all applicable guidance from the CDC, MDH, and OSHA regarding social-distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfection. See information on healthy protocols such as social distancing and effective cleaning and disinfection. You can find more guidance from the CDC.

For additional information, including health protocols, financial assistance, unemployment insurance, and more, check the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Businesses webpage for the latest information and guidance. It includes an FAQ that will also be updated regularly.

Finally, the governor’s office has posted a helpful A-Z Resource Guide. It contains guidelines on most everything in our daily lives that have been affected by the state’s evolving COVID-19 response. The information is easy to read and is presented in a glossary-style format.

Contact Us

The offices of the Maryland Real Estate Commission currently have limited access to the public. Please be patient with us, as it may take longer than usual to respond to voicemails and e-mails. E-mails are preferable to phone calls at this time. We can be reached using our contacts page for telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of individual staff members, or you may send your concerns to our general e-mail address and your message will be routed to the appropriate person.