The Importance of a New York Real Estate Attorney: Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer When Purchasing a Home in New York?

Purchasing a home for many people may seem like a simple task from the outside looking in but once you have experienced the process of purchasing a house you quickly find out that there is more involved to it than just picking a nice house, signing one document and then arranging for your furniture to be moved into your new house.  In fact there are many smaller processes involved within the process of buying a home.

Buying a home requires the experience and skill of someone who will be able to guide you based on their legal expertise and will be able to look out for your best interest.  Many people who are purchasing a home in New York wonder why do I need a real estate lawyer when I purchase my home?

Here are some reason to consider why hiring a real estate attorney is helpful in the home purchasing process:

  • Negotiations – Although a real estate lawyer is not necessary during the negotiation stages of a real estate purchase it can be helpful to speak to an attorney if you have any questions regarding the purchase price and tax related issues is you are concerned at all.  Presenting your concerns and questions to your real estate attorney will give them the opportunity to address a situation prior to you already being bound to a house and will be able to ease your mind if you do not have that one question hanging over your head.
  • Contract of Sale – A contract of sale is not a simple document or at least it shouldn’t be.  This is one stage that a real estate attorney is especially necessary.  A New York contract of sale contains many different specifics associated with the purchase of the house and although the sellers attorney is normally the one who prepares the contract of sale the purchasers attorney is the one who will sit down with you, the purchaser, to explain everything you will need to know about what you are signing and what it means for you.  A real estate contract of sale usually includes many important factors such as: what is included in the sale, the purchase price, the amount of the downpayment which is to be paid, if the downpayment will be held in escrow by the seller’s attorney and what the provisions of the escrow are, how many days you have to obtain a mortgage commitment and what happens in the event that you are unable to obtain a mortgage committment, what will happen if substancial damages to the house are present or termites exist in the house, the requirement of a certificate of occupancy, the requirement of a clear title in order for closing to occur and what will happen if there is an issue that can not be cleared on the title, when the closing date is scheduled to be (the “on or about” date) and how long after that you have to close, what happens if the seller is not ready to close and you are and many other important issues As you can see having an attorney to explain the details, requirements and repercussions of these different topics is very helpful.
  • Obtaining a Mortgage – Most buyers finance the majority of their home purchases though a mortgage.  Not only is it important that the correct provisions be in the contract of sale regarding you obtaining a mortgage but it is also important to have an experienced attorney’s opinion on what mortgage is best for you individually and the terms and conditions that the mortgage comes with.
  • Title – In order to close on a property it is usually necessary that there be a clear title.  A title is something that is ordered from a title insurance company and will list any violations against the seller, you (the purchaser) and the property address.  Violations against the seller and buyer may include traffic tickets, warrants and many other areas and the violations that may show up on a house are fines that have been issued due to complaints and many other things.  An attorney will review the information and will make sure everything is clear on all ends before moving forward with the purchase of the home.
  • Zoning and Survey – Knowing where your property lines are is something that is very important when purchasing a home.  You want to make sure your fence and everything that is about to be yours is in your property lines.  Your attorney will be able to order a survey for you and have it certified to you.  This will help ensure where the property lines are and will show proof of when the survey was last done.  Your attorney will be able to explain the findings of the survey and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
  • Closing – The final step that your real estate attorney will handle is the closing of title.  This is when the deed is signed over to you.  Having an attorney present at closing will ensure that your deed and the supporting documents which include information for tax purposes are executed properly and have the proper language in them.  Your real estate attorney will also handle the distribution of closing costs to the proper parties and will be able to make sure that your funds are going to the right place.

If you would like to speak with an experienced real estate attorney in Staten Island, New York and would like to speak with one regarding representing you throughout your purchasing process please contact Steven T. Decker at 718.979.4300.

Steven T. Decker is an experienced real estate lawyer, author and speaker. With over 20 years of experience, Steven represents individuals and investors in the purchase of residential and commercial real property. Steven is the author of "The Five Myths that can Ruin the Purchase of Your Home" and he is the publisher of the "New York Real Estate Law Blog". If you are buying or selling a home or commercial property in Staten Island, New York City or New Jersey contact Steven T. Decker, Esq. to discuss the services that he offers and how his legal representation will assist you.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is provided for general educational purposes only, should not be relied on as legal advice and does not serve to create an attorney client relationship. In utilizing this website you acknowledge that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Steven T. Decker, Esq. and that the information contained on this site does not and cannot serve as a replacement for the competent legal advice of a licensed attorney in your state. The content of this website is subject to the Copyright of its author, Steven T. Decker, Esq.
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