July 25, 2022

Does New York Require an Attorney for Real Estate?

Technically speaking, an attorney is not required to sell or buy a home or real estate in New York. Thousands of transactions happen every year, with the only professionals involved being real estate agents and brokers. That doesn’t mean it’s the best way to buy real estate, and not having your attorney involved leaves a party open to risks. Most times these are minor, buyers discover issues that, if they were just more aware, they would have required them to be addressed. However, it doesn’t make the deal go bad automatically. However, once in a while, there’s a real problem, and a good attorney would have caught it.

The value of a real estate lawyer in Brooklyn in buying a home is multiple. First, the most available factor comes in the form of guidance. Buying a home still uses a tremendous amount of law and terms that are throwbacks to old English law. Folks not familiar with the terms may not fully understand what their purchase contract terms actually commit them to without a legal expert to interpret. These terms are critical; a simple word change can mean the difference, for example, in a total transfer of rights versus one that is limited. And these limitations are common in the form of covenants and easements, both of which impact a new owner’s right to a property and how to control it. To make matters even more complicated is the fact that there is a mix of building (fixtures) and land rights and mineral rights. A real estate contract lawyer in Brooklyn NY will understand these concerns quickly.

The agents and brokers involved are well equipped to scan the market for choices that match a buyer’s interest the most. That includes finding all the advantages and features that make a purchase attractive as well as what the comparable values nearby are at to know what to pay and what is too much. Agents also help work through all the wants and requirements of both the buyers and sellers to arrive at a negotiable position, a middle ground for both sides.

Once the draft deal to buy a property is ready to be executed, the home goes through inspection, and a New York real estate attorney can then review the terms of the purchase agreement to scan for any unfavorable issues or concerns to watch out for. Not everything is a bad issue; in fact, many terms are neutral. However, understanding what they are in full awareness makes a big difference. And, where there is a problem, a New York real estate lawyer can push for an amendment or change to the draft to arrive at a better version of the contract.

Buyers should be aware, many sellers will have an attorney prepare their agreement to sell. The buyer and agent may not deal directly with that person, but the attorney is involved, working in the background. It’s a standard business practice produced by New York real estate lawyers, which can be very one-sided if a buyer doesn’t have their own representation involved. The most common sign of this is the heavy use of boilerplate language.

The additional value of an attorney’s involvement now comes into play. Properties carry a lot with them, but it’s not all visible. A property’s title can be complicated by previous issues ranging from unclear ownership titles to liens on the real estate to affirm prior collections. No one wants to buy a home and find out a few years later that someone other than the seller had ownership and didn’t agree to the sale. It can be a messy situation that almost always ends up in court to clear up.

The Strazzullo Law Firm can help with a real estate purchase for both homes and businesses. Providing both prevention awareness as well as preparation review before a purchase contract is executed, our New York real estate attorneys are well-versed in how to best close a deal successfully. While there are plenty of real estate lawyers in Bay Ridge Brooklyn and elsewhere in New York, what matters most is experience and technical knowledge of real estate in particular. The Strazzullo Law Firm leads by performance. Call us to set up an appointment before your next home purchase.