The following is a summary of key parts of the restrictions. Business continues: listings, marketing, tenant /buyer advocacy assignments, closings, and most recently – lease modifications and recastings, all continue. Call me with any questions at any time at my email or at my cell: 716-628-3477.
FROM THE NYS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, as of April 9, 2020
Can I have in-person contact with a member of the public?
No. ESD has issued guidance that “real estate services shall be conducted remotely for all transactions”. Licensees must utilize alternative methods of conducting business to avoid person to person contact with members of the public. NYSAR is unaware of any scenario where a licensee would be “legally necessary” to have in-person contact.
Can licensees still take a listing?
Yes. ESD has issued guidance that that “real estate services shall be conducted remotely for all transactions”. Licensees must make every effort and explore every alternative to avoid person to person contact with members of the public. This can be done a number of ways including utilizing alternate means such as virtual listing appointments, electronic transmission and signing of documents. A licensee may also mail or use a courier (UPS, FedEx, DHL) to deliver documents to a consumer to sign.
Can a licensee perform in-person showings?
No. Pursuant to the most recent guidance from EDC, all showings must be done “virtually” by the licensee. When such “virtual” showings occur, the seller should leave the property so as to avoid person to person contact with the licensee.
Can I go to view or take photographs for a listing?
Yes, with the knowledge and informed consent of the seller. In the event the property is not vacant upon arrival, the licensee should cease taking photographs/video and leave the property. NYSAR strongly advises against the use of a third-party photographer/videographer as they are not an essential business. Licensees and/or homeowners are able to take the pictures or video.
What is the liability if a licensee violates the Governor’s mandate?
Penalties can range from a fine of $2,000, being charged with a misdemeanor and possible license suspension or revocation.
What kind of marketing can I do?
You may not make any unsolicited phone calls to a member of the public during a State of Emergency. General Business Law §399-z(5)(a) states “It shall be unlawful for any telemarketer doing business in this state to knowingly make an unsolicited telemarketing sales call to any person in a county, city, town or village under a declared state of emergency or disaster emergency as described in sections twenty-four or twenty-eight of the executive law.” All other types of marketing such as mailers, billboards, social media, internet etc. are permitted. You may call a FSBO (“for sale by owner”) if you have an identifiable purchaser interested in the property. You are prohibited from calling the FSBO to solicit the listing. You may still perform business to business calls so long as you are calling the number provided as the business number.
Are closings permitted?
Yes. It should be noted that remote notarization is now permissible under the Governor’s Executive Order 202.7 and closings may be conducted virtually. It is the decision of the lender, seller’s attorney and buyer’s attorney as to whether a virtual closing and/or remote notarization or other methods are used to avoid person to person contact.
Dave Schiller SIOR