What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

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Orange County, NY Real Estate Attorney

When you think of buying or selling a home, whether you be in Orange County, NY or elsewhere, the first person you probably think about is a realtor.  Your realtor can help you along through the process of searching for the right house or the right buyer for your home and help you negotiate a price and closing date that meets your needs.  Many people, however, do not realize the importance of a real estate attorney in a real estate transaction and a real estate lawyer should always be a part of your team of expert advisors whether you are buying or selling a home.  Your real estate lawyer can review any offer you make or receive on a home or piece of property and make sure that your rights are protected and responsibilities clearly defined.

Here’s what a real estate attorney should do for you:

If you’re buying a home…

  • A real estate attorney will assist you in understanding the purchase contract and understand how you will take title on the piece of property.
  • A real estate attorney will prepare and register all the legal documents required for the property transaction.
  • A real estate attorney will ensure for you that you receive a valid registered ownership that is strictly subject to only to the liabilities you’ve accepted.
  • A real estate attorney will help clarify the often complicated terms of the mortgage and modify them, if necessary, by working with your lender.
  • A real estate attorney will carefully scrutinize the adjustments prior to the transaction closing.  This includes taxes owed & utility costs paid.
  • A real estate lawyer will make certain that there aren’t any covenants, liens, easements, etc. registered against the property that could potentially impede the use of it.
  • A real estate attorney will attend the closing for the piece of real estate and review all the required papers that you will have to sign.
  • A real estate attorney will arrange title insurance protection for you to protect you from potentially massive financial losses due to title defects.

If you’re selling a home…

  • A real estate lawyer will review the binder for you and then review or even prepare the purchase & sale agreement, which will include the negotiation of its terms.
  • A real estate lawyer will, if necessary, prepare the power of attorney for you as well as the deed in proper fashion.
  • A real estate lawyer will take care of any title issues as they come up and work to correct them.
  • A real estate lawyer will, at the closing, review all the papers you’ll be required to put your signature on.
  • A real estate lawyer will help to arrange for transfer of the security deposits for the purchase.
  • A real estate lawyer will, if needed, provide for the arrangement of insurance certificates.

Need a real estate attorney in Orange County, NY? Contact our law offices today.  We offer services throughout the Hudson Valley, NY including Orange County, Sullivan County, Dutchess County, and Ulster County.

 

 

 

Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

Filed Under Real Estate Law · Tagged:  

Do you Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

In today’s economic climate, homebuyers and sellers are more cost conscious than ever.  Expenses related to real estate transactions are always a concern for parties to a contact of sale.  Some major costs associated with a home purchase stem from property taxes, bank fees, title fees, home inspection, and insurance.  The average value of closing costs associated with a home purchased for $300,000 are between $12,000 and $18,000.  Bank fees and title costs typically run in excess of $2000 each when buying a home.  On average, attorney fees for the same transaction are in the range of $600 to $1000, only a fraction of the total expenses incurred in buying a home.   Despite the relatively low cost of a lawyer compared to other closing expenses, an attorney routinely is responsible for performing essential tasks and shepherding virtually all facets of the transaction on behalf of a buyer and/or the seller.  The cost of an attorney is almost always one of the lowest expenses involved in the transaction. 

Aside from the reasonable cost associated with hiring an attorney in comparison to other closing costs, working with an attorney can save a buyer or seller time and money by providing a roadmap of the steps to closing and assisting the client through the process.  Experienced Real Estate lawyers have handled hundreds of real estate sales. Even the most experienced realtors have handled only a fraction of that figure and mortgage consultants typically engage in a narrow area of the deal involving financing.  By contrast, a qualified attorney has vast experience with routine property sales and more importantly with a number of issues including title, banking, zoning, liens, judgments and mortgage underwriting considerations.  Many of these issues arise during the process after the contract is signed and can be resolved with the assistance of the attorney.

All real estate closings begin with an effort to assemble the multiple facets of the sale. This process begins only after an offer is accepted on the property and a contract is in place.  A lawyer is essential in the process as he or she is trained in contract law and will assure that the necessary components for a successful closing are included in the contract.    On the Purchase side, contract review, negotiation of post inspection findings, title search and review, and working with the bank to obtain the mortgage for the buyer are all facets of the deal that are organized by an attorney. In many cases a lawyer is issue spotting for the client each step of the way incorporating contingencies in the contract to keep the process moving, or if necessary allowing the client to withdraw from the deal, without penalty, if an intractable issue arises.  If you think a closing takes a long time to accomplish with an attorney, it would be a complete maze of processes and marathon effort for a novice.

In summary, for a customary flat fee, in many cases the lowest expense associated with the transaction, home buyers and sellers can obtain competent, and invaluable professional advice and legal services from a Real Estate Attorney allowing them to achieve their home purchase goals on budget and on schedule. 

Need a real estate attorney in Orange County, NY? Contact our law offices today.  We offer services throughout the Hudson Valley, NY including Orange County, Sullivan County, Dutchess County, and Ulster County.