Creative innovation was the theme of Continental Law Group’s residential real estate practice during COVID-19 to keep things moving. Clients appreciated the significant measures CLG took to ensure both their safety and interests.
Cars, garages, back decks, and lawns became makeshift offices, and moving boxes were converted into desks. Closing documents were sanitized with Clorox wipes at the beginning of the pandemic when transmission risks were unknown. Mailboxes became deposit boxes to trade documents safely. Socially distanced notarization became the “new normal.”
While sometimes it took a few extra steps to overcame the obstacles, CLG got the job done, led by the initiative of CLG’s Senior Counsel, Michael Osborne. Here are a few ways we were able to keep residential closings moving, and our clients safe, during the pandemic:
Interesting Office Arrangements
With COVID-19 risks and social distancing requirements in place, sitting at the closing table was not an option. In combination with Massachusetts’ chilly spring weather, quarantine restrictions left Mike doing many residential closings from his car.
However, Mike’s car/office configuration seemed to leave some onlookers bewildered. During one of Mike’s first closings during the pandemic, he got some very perplexed looks from neighbors as he sat in front of the clients’ house, Zooming with them during a virtual closing conducted from the driver’s seat.
Bring the Paperweight!
Once the weather got warmer and it was possible to do closings outside, CLG’s attorneys discovered that the hood of a car could also make a pretty good desk to get the stack of closing paperwork done . . . unless it was windy!
Socially Distanced Notarization
You might be wondering how socially distanced notarization works — CLG’s attorneys found out. During his residential closings, Mike made sure to witness every signature to comply with the Massachusetts notary requirements. Usually, this was done as he observed the signing through a window. The clients would then leave the documents in their mailbox for him to take. If the weather was nice, he could watch clients sign from across the lawn, maintaining the required distance.
2020 Has Been a Year of Growth for CLG Despite COVID-19
Despite the abnormal times, CDC guidelines, and restrictions, CLG moved forward with practically all planned residential real estate closings with the patience and understanding of everyone involved.
In fact, residential volume throughout the pandemic was higher than it had been during the same period in 2019. As low-interest rates kept things moving, the Massachusetts real estate market’s resiliency showed through in every transaction.
CLG’s steadfast dedication to clients sets the firm apart. Even in the worst of times, like the pandemic, clients know that they can rely on CLG to make sure the job gets done efficiently and effectively.
Founded by Erik Lien, CLG represents clients throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire for residential real estate transactions. CLG has offices located in Boston, Salem, MA, and Portsmouth, NH. Call (617) 616-8210 to learn more about CLG’s commercial real estate practice and other legal services.