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Thursday, June 4, 2020

UPDATE ON REALTOR OPERATIONS ESD AND PHASE 2


On April 9, 2020, Empire State Development (ESD)  determined 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; and nothing within this provision should be construed to allow brokerage and branch offices to remain open to the general public (i.e. not clients).”* THIS IS STILL IN EFFECT UNTIL PHASE 2.
              
Because it may become necessary in limited circumstances for a real estate licensee, inspector, appraiser or other third party to access the Property, such access raises the possibility of potential liability resulting from exposure to COVID-19. The New York State Association of REALTORS has mandated that sellers, buyers, inspectors, appraisers or other third parties sign a disclosure that states the following: “by agreeing to permit such parties to enter the Property or by agreeing to enter the property, all parties acknowledge there is an assumption of exposure to COVID-19 and any and all consequences and/or injury which may result from such exposure, including but not limited to, physical and/or psychological injury, pain, suffering, illness, temporary or permanent disability, death or economic loss.”

Thankfully, the coronavirus has been subsiding, since the March 7th   state disaster emergency, and the Governor has announced gradual loosing of restrictions in Phases.  Phase 1 is underway for Construction, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Retail - (limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off), Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade.  Real Estate is part of Phase 2.

So, until we reach Phase 2, we must continue to conduct business as follows:

1.      Realtors can continue to list properties remotely and work with buyers remotely.

2.      No open houses.

3.      Realtors can take photographs, videos of properties for clients. Seller should leave the property to avoid person-to-person contact.

4.      Appraisals and home inspections are allowed but with minimal person-to-person contact – purchaser cannot be present.

5.      No in-person final walkthrough. Realtor can video for buyer or buyer can do final walkthrough without the Realtor.

6.      No unsolicited telemarketing for listings/sales to the public.

7.      Sellers and buyers can agree to showings after signing the COVID-19 DISCLOSURE noted above, acknowledging assumption of risk to exposure of COVID-19 and the consequences from such exposure.

Bottom line, we are doing business but with limitations and in a different way.  We wish to thank our clients- sellers and buyers and prospective buyers for their cooperation and understanding. It’s only by working together with patience and respect for the health guidelines, that we will stem the tide of this virus so we can move forward to our “new normal”. 

We have several wonderful properties listed. We’d love to chat with you about selling or buying here on the North Fork. The demand is high, don’t lose out!  Please give us a call at 631 765 5333 or email me -  marie@beninatiassociates.com 

A million thanks to our heroic Healthcare, Emergency Care, Fire Department, Police, Food & Beverage Services, Post Office and Town personnel who are on the front lines…God Bless you all!

* ESD Guidance on Executive Order 2026, Section 14, as Amended April 9, 2020





Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day 2020…A Time to Remember Our Fallen Heroes

Memorial Day is a time to remember all the men and women who lost their lives serving our country.  This year, we have a special group of heroes to add to our Day of Remembrance – those brave, dedicated doctors, nurses, EMT’s, firefighters, policemen and women, hospital workers…all the people who have lost their lives to save others during the Coronavirus Pandemic, fighting a war against an unseen and more deadly enemy.

This May 25, 2020, let’s honor our country’s war dead and these COVID-19 heroes by the symbolic wearing of poppies. This tradition goes back to one of nature’s phenomena that occurred in war-torn battlefields during World War I, where the red field poppy (papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to grow. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground was disturbed—as it was by the brutal fighting.

The practice of wearing poppies was further inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written in 1915 by Canadian soldier John McCrae when he saw the poppies in burials around his artillery position in Belgium.

Here is an excerpt from “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrae, May 1915:

 In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields...
The torch; be yours to hold it high...


Today, poppies are both a symbol of loss of life and a symbol of recovery and new life, as we care for our servicemen damaged physically or emotionally and those who have been stricken by the coronavirus.

Please join us in honoring them all.  




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Happy Birthday, Chris. You are our hero! Miss you ever so much, every day!


Thursday, May 21, 2020

A MESSAGE TO OUR 2020 GRADUATES


The whole world is on pause right now, a truly an unprecedented time in all of our lives.

You have been asked to forgo the formal celebration of your graduation.  It’s a big disappointment for sure.

But when life serves you setbacks, the important thing to focus on is that you may not be able to control what happens, but you can control your reaction. You can choose how you will respond. Here are a few other things you can choose:

Choose to be JOYFUL - even in the midst of setbacks. Don’t let anyone steal your joy.

Choose to be GRATEFUL- greet every day with a ritual of gratitude for all your blessings.

Choose to be ETHICAL - even when you’re surrounded by others who are not.

Choose to be OPTIMISTIC  -  always look for the silver lining…

“Look for the silver lining,
Whenever a cloud appears in the blue.
Remember somewhere the sun is shining
 And so, the right thing to do is make it shine for you!
A heart full of joy and gladness,
Will always banish sadness and strife.
So always look for the silver lining,
And find the sunny side of life!” *

*This song was written during the Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919 , by Jerome Kern and BG Sylva.



Friday, May 8, 2020

A PRAYER FOR THIS MOTHER'S DAY


We thank You God, for our mothers: the ones who gave us life, the ones who chose us through adoption and foster care, and all the unofficial mothers in our lives, who are a strong and compassionate presence and source of support and wisdom.

We remember the love with which they cared for us when we were most vulnerable; the tears they dried and fears they soothed when we were troubled; the encouragement they offered when we had little faith in ourselves; the guidance they provided when we felt lost; the worries they endured when we were growing up; the strength it took to hold us close, yet let us fly.

We pray that our mothers who are no longer with us are embraced by Your love; that future mothers, expectant mothers and new mothers experience the joys that come from caring for a child and putting his or her needs ahead of their own, even when the sacrifices seem challenging; that our mothers who are still living experience Your enduring and ever present love through the appreciation and gratitude that we, their children, show them not just on this day, but honor them throughout the years.

We ask You during this global pandemic, to keep our mothers and all our family members safe and sound.  We pray not to be consumed by fear, but act with prudence in all we do and be aware that everything we do also affects others.  Help us to do what is right for the greater good - to keep everyone safe, stop the spread of this coronavirus and bring us all together soon.  AMEN 


Source: Three Minutes a Day, The Christophers, Volume 48.


Wishing every mom out there a very Happy Mother's Day!



Thursday, April 23, 2020

HOW REALTORS ARE DOING BUSINESS UNDER NEW YORK STATE OF EMERGENCY

Since March 7, 2020, when Governor Cuomo declared a State disaster emergency, all businesses were directed to utilize to the maximum extent possible - telecommuting or work from home procedures to reduce the in-person workforce at any location by 100%. Only businesses or entities designated “essential”, are not subject to the in-person restriction, but only to the limited extent necessary to provide such services or functions. The obvious services - health care, emergency services, police, grocery store, restaurants (take-out food only), transportation, hotels, etc. designated as essential and operating. But essential services also include, residential moving, cleaning services, financial institutions, maintenance landscaping, and many more.

On April 9, 2020 Real estate services were added to the list but with tight restrictions:

“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; and nothing within this provision should be construed to allow brokerage and branch offices to remain open to the general public (i.e., not clients).”*

So, what does this mean and how does it affect how Realtor’s conduct business?

1.    Realtors can continue to list properties remotely.
2.    Realtors can work with buyers remotely.
3.    No open houses.
4.    Realtors can take photographs, videos of properties for clients. Seller should leave the property to avoid person-to-person contact.
5.    Appraisals and home inspections are allowed but with minimal person-to-person contact – purchaser cannot be present.
6.    No in-person final walkthrough. Realtor can video for buyer or buyer can do final walkthrough without the Realtor.
7.    No unsolicited telemarketing marketing to solicit listings/sales to a member of the public.

Bottom line - we are here to serve you. We are doing business with limitations and in a different way.  But just look at some of the magnificent properties in this ad. We can help you too!  Give us a call at 631 765 5333 or email me - marie@beninatiassociates.com.  Let’s talk.

The ESD rules are restrictive, but certainly necessary to stem the tide of COVID-19.  We all must continue to do everything we can to stop this pandemic. Sheltering in place, is working. Wearing masks and protective gloves is working. We have to keep at it until we conquer this coronavirus “enemy!”

A million thanks to our heroic Healthcare, Emergency Care, Fire Department, Police, Food & Beverage Services, Post Office and Town personnel who are on the front lines…God Bless you all! 
* ESD Guidance on Executive Order 2026, Section 14, as Amended April 9, 2020.


Friday, April 10, 2020

Hope SPRINGS Eternal…We Shall Overcome!


This week we celebrate two very important holidays – Passover and Easter.  These religious holidays are celebrations of hope and salvation – Passover commemorates God’s deliverance of the Jews from Egypt and the birth of the Jewish people as a nation.  And Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity.

We will be apart for the celebrations this year, because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.  This unseen enemy has stopped every one of us in our tracks and made us realize how vulnerable we truly are. How dependent on each other we truly are.  And how responsible we are to protect and support each other, our families, friends and neighbors - but also strangers - if we want to stop the spread and the resulting deaths of thousands of people. 

Our actions can abate the spread of the virus – if we stay home - even though we are bored.  Our actions can further the spread of the virus – if we don’t stay home, if we don’t quarantine, if we sneeze or cough and don’t wear protective masks and gloves. Each one of us has a responsibility to protect everyone we come in contact with and stop the spread of this deadly virus. With diligence and Hope, We Shall Overcome.”

Passover and Easter remind us that even in the most trying of circumstances, we must always “hope.”  May this beautiful verse* about HOPE inspire you:

Hope opens doors where despair closes them.

Hope discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what       cannot.

Hope regards problems, small or large, as opportunities.

Hope looks for the good in people, instead of harping on the worst.

Hope cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to cynicism.

Hope sets big goals and is not frustrated by repeated difficulties or setbacks.

Hope pushes ahead when it would be easier to quit.

Hope puts up with modest gains, realizing the “the longest journey starts with one step.”

Hope accepts misunderstandings as the price for serving the greater good of others.

Hope is a good loser because it has the divine assurance of final victory.

Hope draws its power from a deep trust in God and the basic goodness of human nature.

Hope “lights a candle” instead of “cursing the darkness.”


We wish you a Happy Passover and a Blessed Easter.

                           
*HOPE written by Father James Keller, Founder of The Christopher.






Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A POSITIVE APPROACH AMID THIS HEALTH CRISIS


Yes, a lot of people are going to be ill. Yes, we are going to have to quarantine, practice social distancing.  Yes, we should self-isolate to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of the virus. But we are a strong community filled with wonderful people and we can cope if we avoid being overwhelmed by the news on television, the internet, newspapers, etc.

We must do what the medical experts at the CDC have recommended – wash hands frequently, don’t touch your face – especially eyes, nose and mouth, stay 6-feet away from others, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home as much as possible to mitigate the spread of the virus. The less people you come in contact with, the lower the odds of giving or catching something.

Staying home has its challenges including not getting enough exercise, eating too much, and feeling isolated and depressed. 

First and foremost, stock up on essentials but PLEASE don’t hoard.  Here are some tips to avoid the negatives from taking over:
  •  Get a daily update from TV or the internet and then TURN OFF the Coronavirus news. Stay  informed, but don’t be obsessed … same advice for the stock market.
  • Talk - USE THE TELEPHONE or even better FaceTime, with friends, family (your grandkids), co-workers, and people you know who are isolated.  Yes, Facebook, email, Messenger, Instagram are all good, but person-to-person is what we all need now.
  • Catch up on your reading, work on those hobbies that you put aside, clean out those closets!
  • Do that thing that you’ve been wanting to do but never seem to get around to it – now’s the time to explore, experiment and renew.
  • Watch HAPPY programs, movies on TV or your iPad. Binge to your heart’s content!
  •  EXERCISE – do something every day, even walking in place.  There are programs on TV, youtube, etc.  I remember my dad doing the air force regime every morning. As a kid, I thought it was corny, but guess what, I’m doing jumping jacks!
More than anything, PRAY… for the health and safety of all your loved ones, our community, our country and the entire world,  and add a special prayer for all the health care professionals who are putting their lives at risk to help others.  May we be blessed with strength to cope, perseverance in what we all have to do, and the miracle of a vaccine and a speedy end to this pandemic.

God Bless You.