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Letter from Corey J. Hogan to our Real Estate Industry Partners

April 9, 2020

To Our Real Estate Industry Partners: (Download a Copy of This Letter)

Pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.8, and the Empire State Development Company’s (“ESDC”) Guidance thereon with respect to essential businesses during the COVID-19 emergency, New York State has deemed “real estate services” essential, and thus permitted to continue operating, within certain limitations. Specifically, the Guidance provides that:

Real estate services shall be conducted remotely for all transactions, including but not limited to title searches, appraisals, permitting, inspections, and the recordation, legal, financial and other services necessary to complete a transfer of real property; provided, however, that any services and parts therein may be conducted in-person only to the extent legally necessary and in accordance with appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols.

We understand there has been conflicting information from local and state authorities, and/or those in the real estate industry with respect to what, exactly, realtors, attorneys, appraisers, etc. may do, and whether they may continue operating their businesses during this time.

However, as is set forth in the Guidance, while the ESDC requires that all activity be conducted remotely, it also provides that certain services may be conducted in-person, to the extent necessary.

While some may be acting, and advising others, out of an abundance of caution, we feel that the real estate industry cannot come to a standstill due to the current climate; therefore, consistent with the ESDC’s Guidance, we at HoganWillig believe that we can, and should, continue to operate, while simultaneously complying with all appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols that have been promulgated by the State of New York.

It is important that our clients, and those in the real estate industry as a whole, recognize that appraisals and inspections are still being conducted, negotiations are still ongoing, and the lives of those in the community are still being changed for the better, as, with the help of all of us, they make one of the most significant purchases in their lifetime: the purchase of their home.

We are honored that New York State and the ESDC have recognized the essential nature of the real estate industry in these trying times, and will continue to look forward to assisting those in our community.