Is it possible to buy or sell a house in the state of New York without a real estate attorney representing you?
It’s possible, but not advised. In fact, real estate lawyers oversee both sides of New York home transactions 99% of the time.
Experienced real estate law firms like Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. have a reputation for driving buyers and sellers through the home sale process, making sure that both parties are treated fairly.
But what function do lawyers have in the real estate world? What issues do they protect you from? How do they help aid the closing process?
Getting a Mortgage
Receiving financing from a bank is one of the most important steps in buying a home. You might think you have everything figured out and all the necessary documentation at the ready, but most financial institutions will not lend you money without legal representation overseeing the process.
Drawing the Contract of Sale
Oftentimes, it is the seller’s attorney who will draw up the first contract of sale. Usually, this first draft is a standard form with an additional rider that can be negotiated with the buyers. A buyer who does not have a lawyer representing them will face contract negotiations alone.
You might be saying that you have a shrewd business-oriented mind and can handle it. But a typical New York contract of sale is full of extremely complicated legalize. Without an attorney, buyers face a potential disaster. This could lead to a lopsided final contract which greatly benefits the seller.
It should also be noted that an attorney has to draw up the contract of sale. New York real estate agents are legally prohibited from authoring a contract.
Once the contract is signed, the buyer submits their down payment, which the seller’s attorney will deposit into an escrow account.
Preparing for Closing
Without an attorney, closing can be a nightmare.
Closing is the process of finalizing a sale and transferring ownership of a property. There is a lot of paperwork and preparation that goes into a closing, and having attorneys overseeing the process from both sides makes the entire ordeal more efficient.
To prepare for the closing, a buyer’s attorney will order a title report to check on any issues that have to be resolved by the sellers before the transfer, such as liens or safety violations against the property. Then, they will help you gather all of the necessary documentation needed for your mortgage applications. Finally, the buyer’s lawyer calculates the overall closing costs. These can be substantial, so it’s a good idea to go in knowing what you owe.
The seller’s attorney reviews the title report, prepares closing documents including the deed and transfer tax returns, and calculates the amount that sellers will have to pay out of pocket during closing.
During the Closing
At the closing itself, attorneys for the buyers and sellers represent their clients. Without an attorney, it’s either two clueless parties talking to one another, or one woefully unprepared person negotiating with a skilled lawyer. It’s best to keep the playing field even.
The attorneys review and advise on the documents their clients are signing and make sure that all payments are accurately made.
Buying or selling a home should never be undertaken without the presence of a skilled lawyer. Attorneys provide an extra layer of protection that helps the process go off without a hitch and ensure that both parties leave the transaction satisfied.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. is one of top real estate law firms in New York. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. owes much of its visible success in its achievements for its clients to recruiting some of the finest professional and paraprofessional minds in the entire real estate industry. See more on Twitter and Facebook.