COVID-19 Real Estate FAQs

As GPAR members reach out to us about COVID-19 and the real estate industry, we will post frequently asked questions and answers here. Please visit PAR’s website for more FAQs.

  • Is there a special form I can use during this time? 

Given the substantial problems Governor Wolf’s order will create with ongoing transactions, PAR is releasing a brand new COVID-19 addendum to the agreement of sale (Form COVID) so parties can agree to postpone contractual deadlines while the impacts of this situation can be assessed. This form allows the buyer and seller to agree that in the event performance becomes impossible or impractical either party can unilaterally invoke an automatic extension of all deadlines (the default is 30 days) that have not yet passed, including the settlement date. For example, if the Agreement was signed just a few days ago, pretty much every deadline would have 30 days added. If the parties are just a few days from settlement the addendum extends settlement by 30 days but doesn’t reach back and reset the inspection contingency or other deadlines that have already passed.

This form is basically a pause button. It gives the parties a set time to figure out a backup plan without being under the gun with immediate deadlines, but it doesn’t change anything else in the agreement and – let’s be honest here – may not actually give the parties enough time to restart the transaction and close by the extended date. Once it becomes clearer how things are going, it is likely that the parties will need to make further adjustments and extensions.

Please go here for more information, including a new Wire Fraud Notice form, from PAR.

  • The City of Philadelphia office that handles the first-time homebuyers program has closed. Do you have any info on when they may re-open? Are transactions in limbo because of this?

Yes, the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) is closed and is not accepting or processing Philly First Home applications. The date to re-open is unknown at this time. The application process will resume when their offices reopen. PHDC will continue to process approved applications. Please note that for these previously approved applications, the grant funds and documents will be transmitted directly to the title company. Approved applicants may want to contact their lender and title company to postpone settlement if the Philly First Home grant funds are required for closing. At this time there are about 80 applicants in the pipeline.