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The Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (PAR) were shocked that Gov. Tom Wolf announced the majority of the state is still closed for in-person real estate transactions.

According to PAR, real estate services are being conducted safely in nearly every state across the country, yet Pennsylvanians are being denied the ability to purchase shelter. Bordering states have all adopted safe procedures to ensure that their citizens are able to work with real estate professionals to buy and sell property.

“Real estate is a life-sustaining business, despite what state officials have declared,” said PAR President William Festa. “Professionals are safely assisting clients to buy and sell property in most other states, however, this limited reopening will continue to restrict Pennsylvanians’ ability to purchase shelter where they want to live. For some consumers, they may be able to purchase or sell their home in one county, but be restricted in a bordering county. This approach simply doesn’t make sense.”

Two bi-partisan bills that would allow real estate services to reopen uniformly across the state have been introduced in the state House and Senate. House Bill 2412 (Polinchock, R-Bucks) was passed by the House and has moved to the Senate for consideration, while Senate Bill 1137 (Boscola, D-Lehigh) was recently introduced in the Senate. Both outline how real estate could be reopened, following CDC safety guidelines.

“The Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® is not advocating for ‘business as usual’,” Festa said. “The association is developing procedures outlining how our 35,000 members could safely conduct business to protect consumers, their clients, as well as themselves.”

Since Gov. Wolf shut businesses down, the association has continued to advocate for consumers and requested that real estate services be reclassified as life-sustaining, following the revised federal guidelines. Senate Bill 613, which passed the state General Assembly, would have required the state to follow the revised federal guidelines, however Gov. Wolf vetoed the bill.

“We’ve heard countless stories from consumers across the commonwealth, who are facing housing uncertainty and financial hardships because the state’s shut down has severely curtailed the practice of real estate,” Festa added. “We urge the governor to reconsider prohibiting Pennsylvanians from obtaining shelter.”

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