LIEB BLOG

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Showing posts with label closing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label closing. Show all posts

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Empire State Development Issues Guidance on Real Estate Services

On March 9, 2020, Executive Order 202.6 mandated non-essential businesses to reduce their in-person workforce by 50% and later, by 100%. Today, the Empire State Development (ESD) issued guidance on Executive Order 202.6 to further determine which businesses are considered essential.

What does the ESD Guidance mean for real estate professionals?

Lawyers are permitted to continue to perform all work necessary, as long as it is performed remotely. Any in-person work must be only for supporting essential businesses or services, with the caveat that such work should still be conducted as remotely as possible.

Real estate services, including but not limited to, title searches, appraisals, permitting, inspections, recording, legal, financial and other services necessary to complete the transfer of real property shall be conducted remotely for ALL transactions.
  • In-person services may be conducted only to the extent legally necessary and in accordance with appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols.
  • Brokerage and branch offices may be opened only to clients.

With ESD’s Guidance, along with Executive Order 202.10 and 202.14 which authorized remote notarization and electronic witnessing for deeds (which we blogged about HERE and HERE), real estate professionals can get back to work and close some deals.


Wednesday, April 01, 2020

LIEB Permitted to Close Real Estate Deals by NYS

On April 2, 2020 we received word from NYS Empire State Development that "[r]eal estate law practices are deemed essential if it is necessary to be in-person to do the work."

LIEB can close your deals in-person. 

Make no mistake, we are a leader in remote closings, but sometimes lenders and title underwriters won't permit such a closing and we have been struggling to find a solution. So, rather than guessing, we made request of the Empire State Development to tell us. This is something every business must do before acting because the penalties are outrageous for non-compliance

We just got our answer and we are already scheduling closings. 

Some people might say that this is a terrible move for a public health advocate. However, my favorite professor during my Master's program taught me to never ignore any of the dimensions of health while only focusing on physical health. Yes, the physical dimension is important. Yet, one can never ignore the spiritual, emotional, social and mental dimensions as well. To that end, there are people who need to close their real estate deal to be healthy. They may be living in limbo with no place to go, there can be financial stress of continued home ownership, there could be too many people occupying one space, or a plethora of other reasons that a closing is necessary.

Remember not to judge someone else's circumstances. 

We will be sure to keep social distance and avoid any gatherings to never forget the physical health needs of our team, our clients and ever other individual who is involved in our closing process.




Monday, January 20, 2020

Eye on Real Estate Q&A: Co-op Disapproval of Sale and Suing the Board

On this week's episode of Eye on Real Estate, January 18, 2020, we were asked about suing a cooperative board for refusing a sale by creating an absolute floor price, which unit owners had to obtain in order to sell units to third-party purchasers.

Initially, we discussed the business judgment rule, which generally protects boards from lawsuits as long as the board acted in good faith and in accordance with it's power. 

However, there can be a case against the board where the board created an absolute floor price in bad faith or if the board created the absolute floor price beyond its powers as set forth in the bylaws. 

As the courts explain, the test is whether the board's floor is "a provision merely postponing sale during the option period," which is permissible or, if it is, instead, "an effective prohibition against transferability itself," which is impermissible. 

So, if you are being blocked on price, consider a lawsuit after you obtain and review the bylaws. 

For a great explanation of this issue, see Oakley v. Longview Owners, Inc.