Last updated on October 23, 2023

What Does A Real Estate Lawyer Do?

Chances are you’ve worked very hard to afford a home in New York.  In fact, buying a house might be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. Because you’ve worked so hard and because buying a home is such a big investment, it is important to have all your bases covered during the purchase.  

While hiring a real estate agent is often necessary to help you find the right property, hiring a real estate attorney is just as important in order to ensure a smooth, problem-free transaction.  For a free consultation with a top-rated New York real estate attorney, Natalia Sishodia, call now at (833) 616-4646.

Real Estate Law in New York

Real Estate Law covers the process of buying and selling properties. This includes land, as well as any structures built on that land.  Real estate law also covers business transactions such as leases, loans, and mortgages. In addition, deeds and property taxes, estate planning, zoning, and titles may be included in the arena of a real estate attorney. 

Real estate lawyer’s job is to ensure that the proper procedures are followed when a property is bought or sold.  He or she must be licensed in the state where the transaction takes place since the laws governing real estate vary from one state to the next.

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do in New York City?

A real estate lawyer specializes in real estate law. They are responsible for handling all aspects of residential and commercial transactions, they review documents, including purchase agreements, mortgage documents, titles, and transfer paperwork. 

In New York, you are allowed to buy a property without an attorney. However, for all practical purposes, almost all transactions in New York City do require at least two experienced real estate attorneys, one to represent a buyer, and one to represent the seller. A real estate attorney reviews or prepares all signed documents needed to complete a closing on a property. They will represent the buyer’s or seller’s interest at the closing and ensure that all parties involved are treated fairly. This is why it might be beneficial to have a professional estate attorney present at closing even if New York does not require one.

Responsibilities of a Real Estate Lawyer

Real estate attorneys conduct due diligence (review board minutes, offering plan, and building financials), prepare and review documents like purchase agreements, mortgage and title documents, and transfer documents. Once hired, they handle the transaction and attend the closing with the buyer. They ensure that the transfer is legally binding and in the client’s best interest.

Real estate lawyers can help their clients prepare documents, order title search and title insurance, lien search, and Eagle -9 Insurance (for coops) and complete a review of the title searches during the purchase of a property. They also handle escrow and the transfer of funds. If financing is required, the attorney shall work with your lender to facilitate the clearance of your loan.

Real estate attorney in New York

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do for a Buyer?

A real estate attorney plays a crucial role in a property transaction, safeguarding the buyer’s interests and ensuring a smooth and legal transfer of property rights. In New York, where the sellers’ attorney typically drafts the initial contract of sale, the buyer’s attorney negotiates and finalizes the contract terms. They also add a rider comprising additional terms for negotiation with the seller.

After contract finalization, the buyer signs the contract and sends a downpayment, typically 10% of the purchase price in New York, to the sellers’ attorney. This downpayment, akin to “earnest money”, is at risk if the buyer abandons the deal without a contractually valid reason. The sellers’ attorney places the downpayment in an escrow account.

Post-contract signing, the buyer’s attorney executes several tasks in preparation for closing. They order a title report to identify any potential issues, such as liens or violations, that the seller must resolve pre-closing. They also collaborate with the buyer to provide necessary information and documents to lenders for mortgage applications.

The attorney calculates the closing costs owed to various parties, including the sellers, the sellers’ lender, and the title company. They represent the buyer at the closing, reviewing and advising on important documents like the deed, transfer tax returns, and mortgage documents. Their role also includes ensuring all payments are accurately made.

Responsibility Description
Due Diligence Conducting due diligence, which includes reviewing board minutes, offering plans, and building financials, to assess the property’s status and potential issues.
Document Preparation Preparing and reviewing various legal documents such as purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents, and transfer documents.
Closing Representation Attending the closing with the buyer and ensuring that the transfer is legally binding and in the client’s best interest.
Title and Lien Services Assisting clients in ordering title searches and title insurance, conducting lien searches, and handling Eagle-9 Insurance for coops.
Title Search Review Completing a thorough review of title searches to identify any potential title issues that need to be resolved.
Escrow and Funds Transfer Managing escrow accounts and facilitating the transfer of funds between parties involved in the transaction.
Working with Lenders Collaborating with the lender to ensure a smooth clearance process for the client’s loan if financing is required.

When Should You Hire A Real Estate Lawyer?

Real estate law is a broad field that encompasses many different areas. There can be a lot of moving pieces when it comes to New York residential or commercial transactions. A real estate lawyer can help you navigate through the ins and outs of real estate law.

Our team of real estate lawyers from Sishodia PLLC is here to help you. With years of experience navigating New York real estate laws, we will make sure that you get individualized legal solutions while keeping your best interests at the forefront. To get experienced counsel on all things related to property rights or to know more about how we can help contact us at (833) 616-4646.

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