Late last week, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker authorized Executive Order 2020-10 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This effectively issued a stay-at-home order, outlined social distancing behavior, and declared essential businesses that would remain open. The order took effect Saturday March 21, 2020 at 5:00PM and lasts through April 7, 2020.
Fortunately, title insurance companies are listed as essential businesses under the order. Under Section 12 titled Essential Businesses and Operations, real estate services which include appraisal services and title insurance companies, are listed as Professional services that may remain open during the duration of the executive order.
Real estate is considered essential for one main reason. Despite the economic fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people still need a place to stay. And although part of the executive order halted evictions, nothing was done to halt new real estate transactions.
The home buying or selling process is a long one, so many transactions, both rental or ownership-based, were already underway prior to this order and perhaps even prior to the outbreak. Additionally, the Fed’s recent announcement to slash interest rates to 0% were intended, in part, to keep real estate transactions alive.
The potential for high unemployment from the COVID-19 response is a threat to the real estate industry as a whole. With interest rate and mortgage rates at all-time lows, the Fed hopes to keep things afloat for the foreseeable future.
So, while real estate agents are encouraged to practice social distancing when meeting with clients or showing homes, the industry is set to remain open for business. An essential part of the real estate industry is title insurance.
So, while title insurance companies might have taken their operations mobile, they will be here to help you through the home buying process!
For further information on essential real estate businesses, get in touch with one of the title and escrow specialists at Plymouth Title Guaranty Corporation.
Please note: The safety of our staff and clients is our highest priority. Effective immediately, Plymouth Title Guaranty Corp. will be taking the following precautions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
All purchase transactions need to take place at a Plymouth Title Guaranty Corp. closing office
- If a party to the closing is not feeling well, please contact your closer prior to the closing so appropriate precautions can be taken;
- We ask visitors to utilize the restroom in our building upon arrival to thoroughly wash hands before entering our office;
- Only individuals required to sign and/or deliver documents at closings will be allowed in our office. Specifically, closings will be limited to borrower(s), seller(s), agents, and lenders;
- All pens used in the closing will be given to the client after use;
- All closing rooms will be cleaned and disinfected in-between each closing;
- Those picking up checks at our office will be instructed to call our main line and request to speak to a staff member who will make arrangements for delivery to the lobby or parking lot of our office; and
- All staff will refrain from shaking hands before or after closings and ask clients do the same
Please be advised that our staffing may be impacted during this unprecedented event. While we are committed to continuing to provide outstanding service, we ask for your patience in the face of this pandemic.
This is a fluid situation and we will continue to adjust our protocols as necessary while following the CDC guidelines.