“Business regulation” column: When ought to a lawyer be employed to promote or purchase a house? High tales

If you’re new to New York State, it might be surprising to learn that real estate transactions involve not only real estate agents but also attorneys representing the buyer, seller, and in some cases, the lender.

This is because New York law mandates that only attorneys can serve as attorneys, and that the important aspects of a real estate business are grouped under this umbrella. However, hiring an attorney is also in your best interests whether you are buying or selling a property, as the attorney performs many important roles during a real estate transaction. In particular, a real estate attorney is there to review the sales contract, verify the title, prepare (or review) the deed and other important legal documents involved in the transaction, and represent your interest during the closing.

Your attorney will be involved in your real estate transaction first after you have selected a property to buy or someone has decided to buy the property for sale to review the sales contract. During this phase, your attorney will ensure that the contract is in your best interests, that you understand what you are committed to, and that the contract is legally correct.

Once the sales contract has been approved by lawyers for buyers and sellers, it is time to review the title documents. Verifying ownership documents is especially important for a buyer as this process ensures that the seller owns the property (and can therefore sell it legally) and that there are no undisclosed liens attached to the property. Additionally, the attorney reviews the chain of ownership (the people who owned the property prior to the seller) to ensure that the property has been legally passed person to person in previous transactions.

Once the attorney determines that the property documents are free of interests or mortgages, they will also review the other legal documents, including the deed, tax documents, any required affidavits, etc. During this process, the attorney’s job is to ensure that the documents are correct and this title is legally binding from the seller to the buyer. If you are buying a property with someone else, your attorney will also discuss how to acquire ownership of the property. For example, two or more parties can purchase a property as a co-owner with the right to survive (or as a tenant as a whole if it is a married couple). This means that in the event of the death of one party, ownership automatically passes to the surviving party. Two or more parties can also jointly purchase the property as tenants, which means that each party owns a percentage of the ownership of the property. If a party dies, their percentage of ownership is inherited by their heirs.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, get your lawyer to represent your interests during a degree. For example, if you are using mortgage financing to buy a home, the lawyer will help the buyer understand the legal obligations associated with loan documents. If there was a problem with the property during the last viewing, the lawyer will help you understand your legal rights and negotiate a cheap solution.

If you are new to New York state, it may seem unusual to hire an attorney to buy or sell real estate. However, choosing an attorney who will carefully represent your interests throughout the process is one of the best investments you can make.

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