Real Estate and Coronavirus
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has already affected, and will continue to affect for the foreseeable future, virtually all aspects of the American real estate industry. Closures of public buildings have resulted in the partial or complete shutdown of local recording offices and the court system depending upon the location. Investors, sellers, buyers, landlords, tenants and other participants in the ownership and operation of real property assets will be denied access to governmental functions essential to the certainty necessary in the real estate marketplace. Other important and critical players including brokers, property managers, title companies, contractors and all types of lenders will also be adversely affected by disruptions in closings, access to real property records, property inspections and delays in receiving final loan approvals. To be sure, many businesses have instituted practices, programs and procedures aimed at reducing the inconvenience and injury to their clients and customers. It is hoped that the recent adoption and final approval of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) on Friday, March 27, 2020, will calm recent market volatility and signal a return to a more traditional and predictable real estate environment. But the relaxation of current tensions will not happen quickly. In the meantime, here are a few strategies we suggest you consider regardless of whether you are selling, buying, building on, leasing or financing real property.