Legal Services

Business Law

  • Confidential formation of LLCs, corporations and other business entities and real estate purchase vehicles
  • Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreements
  • Preparation of Proof of Funds
  • Expedited injunction and gag order filings

Real Estate Law

  • Discrete purchases of real estate property in NYC
  • Discrete long and short term rentals
  • Confidential showings
  • Discrete Inquiries into unlisted real estate properties
  • Execution of nondisclosure agreements from sellers and brokers
  • Publicity interference
  • Full security accommodations
  • 24/7 assistance

 Confidential Real Estate Transactions NYC

Discretion in real estate transactions is not always a simple concept.  Forming an LLC to discretely purchase real estate in New York City requires finesse.  You still need the right principal and a physical address for the LLC, neither of which can be easily connected to you.  Public records are easily searchable and reporters and paparazzi have a tendency to show astonishing smarts when tracking down high profile  real estate buyers.  

There are situations when an LLC may be too transparent to fully protect your privacy.  Many co-op boards are not satisfied with a newly formed LLC and require access to the buyer’s finances or even, in some cases, an individual name on the deed plus most anybody can figure out and use the “follow the cash” concept, so a transfer of equity may be advisable to ensure your real estate transaction remains fully confidential. And while condos became the real estate property of choice for the majority of investors in recent years, many unique lofts in NYC are still co-ops and some buyers looking to keep their real estate transactions discrete actually prefer co-ops as they give them control over who buys in their building.

LLCs are useful not only in confidential real estate transactions but also to limit personal liability, discretely purchase contiguous units and prevent sellers from inflating the purchase price once they realize who the buyer is.  This is where limited proof of funds come in.  A simple term “in access of” as opposed to a full disclosure of wealth goes a long way in limiting your exposure and there are many other effective tricks.

Discretion and confidentiality work both ways. Often high-end real estate sellers in NYC also require nondisclosure agreements and even pre-screening of potential buyers.  This necessitates certain finesse:  the seller has the right to know and you have the right to privacy, so what gives?  The answer is the degree of disclosure, which only a good lawyer and buyer’s broker can negotiate.  The employment of video showings may be a good first step for everybody involved.

Finally, even the most confidential real estate purchase may not withstand subsequent lack of discretion by doormen and other building staff. Negotiation of staff nondisclosure agreements is a good way to protect your privacy, yet often overlooked by real estate brokers and lawyers.

All of this requires ironclad contracts. 

Boutique Buyer’s Broker and Real Estate Attorney Firm

There is time for publicity and time for keeping your transactions confidential.  Unfortunately, your strife for discretion is constantly being counterbalanced against others’ want of publicity.  The public’s fascination with celebrities combined with out of control social media makes it very difficult to keep real estate transactions discrete.  

While most real estate agents and staff are aware of their confidentiality obligations, not all brokers are above creating buzz for themselves or their exclusive listings by means of a well-positioned leak.  Working with a large brokerage, even one specializing in celebrity real estate transactions such as Sloane, actually multiplies the risk of disclosure – the more players, the bigger chances for a leak.

Nondisclosure agreements are only so effective.  Clearly, once the confidential information is out, there aren’t adequate remedies to fix the situation so the name of the game is prevention, not redress.  Threats, such as the deal is off should it become public also work but then, again, what if you really want that unique loft or townhouse?  Walking away is often not an option.

My goal is to ensure that your real estate transactions do not end up on TMZ, in the WSJ, the divorce court or chronicled in tabloids like certain other celebrities and Wall Street players we all know.  Celebrities are a hard to enter yet very rewarding, self-perpetuating referral group so once you’re in, you would have to be stupid to damage your reputation by leaking information.  And, finally, signing a nondisclosure agreement with a lawyer as opposed to just a real estate broker is a lot more fool-proof as lawyers have a lot more to lose. 

 

Leave a Reply