Highlights from Arizona REALTORS® COVID-19 Event

On March 23, Arizona REALTORS® (AAR) 2017 President Paula Monthofer moderated a Facebook Live Event called “Taking Care of Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic”.

She was joined by a panel that included PrimeLending Branch Manager Andy Mersiowsky, AAR 2020 President Mary Roberts, Grand Canyon Title Agency VP Fletcher Wilcox, Define Mortgage Solutions Realtor® Relations Manager Sherry Olsen and AAR CEO Michelle Lind.

Below are some highlights from this event. Links were added for further information.

Mersiowsky: Tremendous swings in interest rates is probably the biggest impact right now…it’s a very fluid situation, so we’re just dealing with it on a day-by-day basis.

Olsen: The GCEs (government-sponsored enterprises), Fannie and Freddie specifically, are working very, very quickly to try to get out means that we can move these situations along — whether it’s appraisals, whether it’s verification of employment.

Wilcox: About the only time that we come in contact with the public is on the signing of loan documents, warranty deeds, things like that. Most title companies record electronically, so (there’s) no problem there.

Roberts: (There are) a lot of limitations on open houses. People still need to buy and sell real estate. We might not get those people coming to buy a vacation home…but people still need to be moving back and forth for work.

Lind: We’ve been working to make sure that we have the business tools and information that our members need…frequently asked questions (and) a formal addendum.

Roberts: We just need to make (buyers and sellers) aware that things are going to change. I’m going to be doing a lot more with Zoom…review documents with them instead of having them come in the office.

Mersiowsky: We rolled out a hybrid e-closing process (that) allows all the ancillary documents to be signed at home, other than the note and any of the notarized documents. It’s the first step toward RON (Remote Online Notarization).

Lind: The National Association Realtors® has been working with regulatory agencies to make sure the importance of our industry is emphasized. We’re doing the same thing on the state level — in regards to what we can do to designate our real estate industry, and the services related, as essential services.

Lind: We’re being proactive in getting messages out to the consumer. We want to make sure that the buying and selling public understands that the real estate industry ‘goes on’…that we’re anticipating things, and give them some level of comfort in a potential or current transaction.