All Things Real Estate: Meeting with your legislators can make a difference

All Things Real Estate: Meeting with your legislators can make a difference

Many Realtors went up to Albany on March 27-28.  This was our yearly pilgrimage and ritual to discuss and have a dialogue concerning proposals for new laws and regulations and their effect on real estate.  It was also the chance to exploree current laws and ways to enhance and upgrade them for the current business environment in New York State.

Their effect can be dramatic and costly for consumers and purchasers.  Laws that are enacted sometimes harm Realtors involved in the real estate industry in New York State.

One of the major topics was the power that co-op boards have over purchasers, especially having to fill out an immense amount of paperwork providing a large amount of personal information. This is not a requirement when buying a condominium, townhouse, or HOA.

As many as 1,500 pages are sometimes required and created by the purchaser. There is a lot of time involved in compiling and putting together some board packages that must be organized, tabbed by sections, and set in hard-cover presentation folders.  However, some management companies today are using online applications that are making the process much more seamless and have truly simplified the process.

Paying the mandatory application fees isn’t a guarantee that you will pass the co-op board review and there are no refunds.  I did convey in last week’s column that it is understood that managements earn a portion of their income from their board application fees.  In addition, since the COVID-19 pandemic, a NYS law was enacted that said buyers were only required to pay a maximum of $20 per credit check inquiry.  Previously I experienced fees ranging from $50-$125 per applicant! Some gouging was happening and that new law saved buyers a lot of money.  This showed me that the new regulations, enacted by our NYS Legislature, were working for the purchasers.

The boards in Nassau County, are not required to let a buyer know why he or she failed to pass a board review.  We explained that this is unjust and unfair, especially without a partial refund.

I brought up the idea of having a buyer of residential homes who was approved for a grant of $39,000 to be able to do a full inspection, as is normally done when purchasing a home.  However, when receiving a grant, it is currently mandatory to have a complete inspection.  If it is a foreclosure, then 99.9% of the time the houses are winterized all year long.

I proposed that the buyer put up $500 to turn on all the utilities, and then be able to have their home inspector do a proper, thorough, and complete inspection.  Then the individual or company that turned all the utilities back on can now winterize the home again.  So in the event the buyer changes their mind, at least the home is now protected once again, from potentially frigid weather and having to contend with broken pipes.

This would enable more buyers of foreclosures, being end users to purchase and then over the years build roots, friends, and connections in the community where as investors do nothing but buy, fix, and flip or buy and hold and rent.  They are not necessarily building roots or friendships. Building a community is more important in the short and long run than earning money and not assisting in truly benefiting the communities being served.

As of March 20, we now have a NYS law that requires the homeowner to fill out the 48-question Seller Property Condition Disclosure form if they aren’t in contract by that date.  Also, the $500 fee previously required to be paid to the buyer by the seller, if the questionnaire wasn’t filled out, has now been eliminated.  However, I am pushing for the requirement to be waived if someone is impaired with dementia, Alzheimer's disease or a mental disability.

I was able to have several varied discussions with state Sen. Jack M.Martins (7th District); Jennifer Slagen, legislative director for Assembly member Gina L.Sillitti (16th District); Assembly member Amy R. Paulin (88th District, Westchester); Michael J. Kelly, director of Government Affairs for New York State Association of Realtors; and Marlo Paeventi, chief lobbyist for Long Island Board of Realtors, who presided with others, over one of our meetings.

RPAC (Realtors Political Action Committee) is our local LIBOR committee that raises funds yearly enabling our local LIBOR to lobby and fight against specific rules and regulations, brought to the Legislative floor in consideration of creating a new law or updating others. Some of the laws could make it more difficult and burdensome for those in real estate as well as purchasers and sellers, too.

So going to Lobby Day yearly is a crucial date for all Realtors to consider showing up and attending.  We have more power in numbers. So if you are a Realtor or are licensed, watch for our next Lobby Day, most likely in February 2025, and participate in having your voice heard by your Legislators.

P.S. Have you entered my contest yet?  Whoever provides the correct answer as to how many interest rate reductions or possible increases will occur this year plus the total percentage reduced or increased will be the winner.  Your reward will be a dinner with my wife and me and a special surprise bonus!  The contest was going to end on 3/15/24, but we have extended our contest until 4/15/24 at 11:59 PM as the absolute final date to provide the additional time for all to enter as the final drawing will be on 12/28/24.

Hoping you, your Family, Friends, and Business associates have a Healthier, Safer, Happier, and more Lucrative 2024!

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck.  For a 15-minute consultation, value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected] or via https://WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com

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