New ShowingTime Appointment Type Now Available: Virtual Showing
ShowingTime has added a new appointment type, Virtual Showing, for showing agents to use when requesting a showing. By selecting this option, the showing agent is indicating to the listing agent that their client would prefer a virtual showing of the property. The showing agent can also add a note for the listing agent indicating which streaming video technology they prefer to use for the showing (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.).
Now more than ever, picking up and delivering paper earnest money checks is not desirable. A timely reminder, NorthstarMLS core service TrustFunds (available to all NorthstarMLS subscribers) allows you to make electronic earnest money payments right from the Property Detail page in Matrix.
Just click on the TrustFunds logo below the property photo on the full listing display
Using electronic earnest money has great benefits:
No need to physically collect and deliver a paper check
A convenient, sure-fire alternative to US postal service, in the case of mail service disruption
Relieves anyone from running to make bank deposits
It’s available anytime from anywhere, not requiring anyone to be in a certain place at a certain time
Allows both brokers and agents to continue to manage their business and stay productive
Mitigates risk and exposure for agents and their buyers
If your business or preferred title company is not currently participating to receive electronic earnest money, encourage them to register. Brokers and title companies can start their registration by going to www.trustfunds.us.com. Click on the green ‘Get Started’ Button.
NorthstarMLS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources Page Now Available
To help you to stay up-to-date NorthstarMLS policy changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, we've created a central resource page. In addition to being a central location for all related NorthstarMLS news, you will also find links to other important resources for Realtors.
We want to remind you of some great video resources that are available to you as all of us are spending more time indoors. These videos give you quick walk-throughs on how to use NorthstarMLS core services.
MNR Discusses the Implications of Gov. Walz's Stay-at-Home Order for Realtors®
Today, Minnesota Governor Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-20 directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home.
Realtors® and their clients may still conduct the activities necessary to facilitate real estate transactions in Minnesota during the time period covered by the order as long as they comply, to the maximum extent possible, with COVID-19 Guidelines including social distancing and hygiene and other requirements in the order.
OPEN HOUSES Refrain from conducting open houses during this period. It is counterintuitive to be conducting an open house activity during the “Stay at Home” directive.
SHOWINGS Please consult with your seller clients regarding their wishes for showings. If you will be conducting showings, limit your showings until the consumer expresses interest, and prioritize virtual showings and other non-person-to-person activities. Utilize the virtual tours and photos available to prescreen homes you personally visit.
UNDERSTANDThe Governor can pull this essential services tag at any time. If we don’t act within the spirit of the Order, we will be in jeopardy of not being able to service our Minnesota real estate clients and customers.
PLEASE NOTE You must conduct business within the COVID-19 MDH social distancing guidelines. Minnesotans may leave their homes or residences to engage in the following activities, provided that all persons follow the guidelines set forth and maintained by the Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH Guidelines”), including but not limited to social distancing, to the maximum extent possible. This list of Activities may be clarified, as deemed necessary by the Governor, to ensure the health, safety, and security of all Minnesotans. Clarifications are available here.
Watch Chris Galler discuss the Governor's order and its implications for Realtors® below.
Overlapping Showing Appointments and Showing Trend Charts
Many of you have already changed the Showings settings on your listings to not allow overlapping appointments. Starting 8:00pm Wednesday March 25, ShowingTime is automatically setting the default to "No Overlapping Showings." Here is their message:
Due to overwhelming agent demand and a desire for the safest possible showings for all concerned, ShowingTime will be updating all current listings and the default for new listings to be “No Overlapping Showings” so that by default two showing agents won’t be scheduled to be in the same property at the same time. Agents and offices can change their defaults later when or if they deem it appropriate, but we want to make sure that the default assumption on any listings in the ShowingTime system is “no overlap” unless specifically designated by the listing agent or listing office.
Local and National Showing Trends Chart
Do you wonder how the current pandemic situation is affecting showings activity? ShowingTime has created charts showing the Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate Showings. All charts are updated daily.
Below are several measures we have taken and communicated earlier this week. We have gathered them here together in one posting for your convenience, and as a reminder for those who may have missed the earlier posts.
Open Houses Suspension:Effective now and until further notice, the scheduling of Open Houses in NorthstarMLS has been suspended. Any currently scheduled Open Houses in the NorthstarMLS system have been cancelled and removed from the MLS. This decision was unanimously approved by the NorthstarMLS Executive Committee of its Board of Directors in the interests of public safety during this crisis. Please click here for more information.
Coming Soon Status Extension: NorthstarMLS has extended the maximum allowable time in Coming Soon Status from 21 days to 60 days. This is an extraordinary measure during extraordinary times that we hope will not be necessary for long; however, we will consider further extension of the number of days permitted while in Coming Soon as circumstances may dictate. All listings currently in Coming Soon status will retain the current Availability Date you set when you entered the listing. Please click here for more information on this temporary rule change.
Effective immediately and until further notice, the scheduling of Open Houses in NorthstarMLS has been suspended. Also, any currently scheduled Open Houses in the NorthstarMLS system have been cancelled and removed from the MLS. This action will remove publication of Open House dates from IDX feeds and syndication to public-facing websites, as well.
This decision was unanimously approved by the NorthstarMLS Executive Committee of its Board of Directors in the interests of public safety during the emergency COVID-19 crisis. The health and well-being of the Realtors who rely on NorthstarMLS for the tools and data that enable your businesses is our paramount concern. Your families, colleagues and clients are all vulnerable and at risk during this uncertain time and we strongly support the best practices that state and federal authorities recommend; particularly, those concerned with social contagion.
This pandemic is at a critical phase and it is our responsibility to look after each other by being careful, considerate and by exercising every prudent precaution to protect our Realtor community and the public at large.
We'll keep you informed as new developments unfold. Thank you and stay well.
Addendum or Amendment to Purchase Agreement: Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19)
Minnesota Realtors Association has released this new form for its members, now available in TransactionDesk/Instanet (MNAR-2020 Forms folder).
This addendum or amendment to the Purchase Agreement is to assist you and your clients in creating an extension of the Purchase Agreement deadlines for those circumstances where there is a COVID-19 related event that inhibits a party's ability to perform under their current purchase agreement.
If you utilize this new form as an addendum to the current Purchase Agreement, please make sure to add a reference in the Purchase Agreement that the Addendum or Amendment to Purchase Agreement: Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) is attached and made a part of the Purchase Agreement.