10 Reasons You Should Hire a Real Estate Attorney When Buying or Selling New York Real Estate

by | Jan 23, 2021 | New York Real Estate Transactions

For many people, buying or selling a home or a commercial property in New York will be one of the biggest and most significant financial investments/transactions ever made. 

Whether you are buying or selling, hiring an experienced and proven real estate attorney will not only ensure a smooth real estate transactional process, but will protect you against unexpected problems and provide you with a stress-free closing. 

In this article we will be covering 10 reasons why it’s important to hire a real estate attorney when buying or selling real estate in New York. 

  1. Throughout the real estate transactional process you will be working with several people who, in one way or another, benefit financially from your property sale or purchase. A real estate attorney’s sole interest is ensuring you as the client are taken care of, that your investment is safe and protected, and that there are no hiccups or unforeseen changes, charges, or fees along the way. Your real estate attorney has an ethical duty to protect your interest regardless of the outcome of the transaction.  Acting as your legal representation, a real estate attorney will protect you throughout the process, keeping your best interest as a priority. 
  2. When conducting a real estate transaction you will find that a lot of the people you work with will not take the time to explain to you the step by step process, nor explain legal papers, or take the time to provide legal advice. Again, throughout the real estate transactional process, your real estate attorney is the only person who has your interest as their top priority. 
  3. When dealing with one of the most important financial investments/transactions in your life, the last thing you want is to have issues and problems come up that could cause delays and ultimately more money. Real estate attorneys are trained to prevent and handle any real estate issues as they arise. Taking care of legal matters for you, and steering you in the right direction, a real estate attorney will provide you a stress-free closing process. 
  4. Let’s face it. Unless you are experienced in real estate transactions, or studied law, real estate contracts can be pretty confusing. I remember the first two homes I bought, I didn’t even read the paperwork. I initiated everywhere my real estate agent told me to and signed on every dotted line. It’s not because I didn’t care about the contract, it’s that it was hard for me to understand all the language. A real estate attorney will not only read and understand the entire contract, but they will provide explanations, and advice, that will help you make the best decision during the real estate transaction. Having a qualified expert who can explain the terms of the real estate contract and/or propose modifications, can help you make the most out of your investment, sale, or purchase. 
  5. Properties in New York must adhere to many strict building codes. What happens if the property you are buying has termites, lead paint, asbestos, or other potential structural problems? In your initial contract, inspection due diligence contingencies need to be clearly defined and met to ensure you know exactly what you are purchasing, and to give you a legal way to cancel the contract should you find unfavorable conditions and title defects. A real estate attorney well versed in New York real estate transactions can help draft these contingencies and make sure you end up buying a home or property without costly defects. 
  6. When you enter into a real estate transaction, you are entering into a legally binding contract. What happens if there is an issue with your deal? If you’re selling, what do you do if your buyer backs out mid contract? What are your legal obligations, options, and choices? Will you be able to amend or cancel your contract? An attorney representing you throughout the real estate transaction will not only help you steer away from such issues, but will help you smoothly deal with them should they arise. 
  7. Buying or selling property in New York involves several different people, coordination, and overall, a smooth transaction. Without a real estate attorney to protect your interest, buyers and sellers are often not in control of what’s happening nor are they kept informed of all movements and details. A real estate attorney will work with your mortgage officer, the other party’s attorney or real estate broker, the escrow officer, the title company, and ensure that realistic dates and expectations are set, that home inspections, title searches, and mortgage commitments, are all to your best interest, and that other contingencies are in place to keep the entire real estate transaction on track and to close without issues or unnecessary delays. 
  8. Minor mistakes, small overlooked phrases or even words in real estate paperwork contract can cause problems and delays in real estate transactions. Your real estate attorney will review all documents, including the property deed, legal papers, mortgage documentation, and closing documents, as well as title and title insurance policies. This will prevent small mistakes or overlooked points to cause issues when you come to the close. 
  9. Real estate transactions are not only big investments, they also come with quite some fees. A real estate attorney will review all financial aspects of the real estate transaction to ensure you are receiving or paying exactly and only what you should be, as agreed by the contract and documents. With your interest in mind, they will protect and defend you against unnecessary additional fees or charges, and ensure everything is done right in the first place, as once the deal is closed, it’s very hard and costly to try and go back and fix things. 
  10. Probably the biggest advantage of hiring a real estate attorney when buying or selling property in New York is peace of mind. No headaches, no stress, and no burden. A real estate attorney will give you the advice and confidence you need to comfortably and smoothly execute one of the most important investments or transactions in your life.

    After all, buying your first home, or selling a piece or property, has tremendous benefits and can be a major stepping stone in your life.

speak to a real estate attorney

Annie Justice Piccinnini Law Senior Editor

Annie Justice
Senior Editor
Piccinnini Law
(516) 500-2110