Purchasing real estate is one of the largest financial investments that you can make. Whether it be a home for you and your family to live in or you’re a real estate investor looking to purchase rental property in New York City, having an experienced NYC real estate attorney to help you through the purchase process may prove to be very beneficial. By having someone on your side who knows what to do in any situation relating to real estate will definitely work in your favour. In an industry like real estate, they’ll understandably be questions like how to sell a promissory note that I’m sure you would like the know the answer to. But with a little research and asking the right questions, you’ll at least come to terms with the basics of real estate. Many individuals who are looking to purchase real estate often find themselves asking: “Do I need to hire an attorney”? The simple answer is, it does not hurt to have a conversation with an attorney so if the need does arise your attorney will already be up to speed and ready to help.
Even if you think your transaction is a simple one of purchasing the property, where you and the seller both have a real estate agent working for you and help you to find the perfect home from somewhere like these summerville, sc real estate listings as well as elsewhere. Your agent will have your best interest in mind, but having an attorney can protect you and your interest by looking at things from a legal perspective. In most cases, you won’t need to have your attorney step up to bat for you, but there are a few unique situations where having an attorney ready to go will help to protect your best interests.
For Sale by Owner
Most homeowners opt to sell their home themselves or use companies like House Buyers of America, rather than having to pay for a real estate agent to do it for them. While this might be an attractive alternative, there are some potential risk involved that you might not be aware of. If you decide to sell your home For Sale by Owner (FSBO), it is advisable that you contact a reputable real estate attorney prior to placing your home on the market. A real estate attorney will be able to review any purchase offers that come in from potential buyers. While this may seem like a simple document to review yourself, usually offering a specific amount of money to purchase the home, but once signed by both the buyer and seller it becomes a legally binding contract.
Failure to include crucial details or language into a FSBO purchase offer can be setting yourself up for significant failure. Important details that need to be included in a purchase offer include: home inspections, and appraisal requirements. A licensed real estate agent will have all the contingencies included in their board approved paper work, where as a homeowner trying to replicate one to save money and not advised by real estate agents or attorneys could potentially be missing this vital information from the purchase agreement.
Purchasing real estate has many legal ramification associated with it. If your documents are not written in the required language that is required by local laws you could potentially find yourself in an unpleasant situation. When creating a purchase offer without consulting a real estate attorney, most sellers miss crucial language that could result in finding yourself in a contract to purchase a property that you have discovered has serious issues. At this point, you have two options, continue with the purchase or don’t close the deal. By opting to not close on the deal, the seller could sue you for breach of contract. By sitting down with a reputable New York real estate attorney beforehand, your attorney can draw up a properly prepared purchase offer that protects you in the event that there is something wrong with the property or with the purchase process.
Another instance when having a real estate attorney is advised is when real estate owners are going through a divorce. While divorce may or may not be a complicated process, when real estate is involved it gets really complicated. If there is equity in the property, or if both spouses are on the mortgage there is a greater need to have a real estate attorney to assist in the process and represent each spouse’s best interest. It is recommended that each spouse has their own legal representation to ensure that their interest and needs are adequately protected throughout the process. Having a real estate attorney by your side throughout the proceedings can help you to rest easier knowing that someone who has your best interest in mind is looking out for you.
After purchasing real estate, you’re likely to discover the little quirks and problems that each property has. While some of these issues are easily handled, and are considered to be routine problems associated with ownership; other problems are more serious and should have been disclosed during the purchasing of the property. Failure to disclose known problems to the new owners, may be grounds for a lawsuit.
In order for there to be a lawsuit, the facts and circumstances surrounding the undisclosed information regarding the property problems will need to be explored to determine if there is a legal liability on the sellers’ behalf. This applies to issues with the property that the buyer could not know about, and would not be able to learn of at the time of the purchase. Therefore, the seller has an obligation to disclose any information that they have, if they know about the issue, to the buyer. Failure to disclose information that can impact the value of the property means that the buyer can sue the seller.
Information that should be disclosed to potential buyers includes; mold contamination, water damage issues, foundation ad structural issues, roof issues, and more. For major problems the seller has an obligation to disclose this information to potential buyers, choosing not to disclose this information may leave the seller liable for lack of disclosure. If taken to court, a judge may order punitive damages be paid by the seller for their failure to disclose information. Worst case scenario, a court could undo the purchase transaction and force the seller to take back possession of the property and return all money from the sell back to the buyers.
Commercial Real Estate Transactions
Commercial real estate transactions include selling, buying, or leasing of commercial space. The protections afforded sellers, buyers, and tenants of commercial real estate are significantly less compared to those of residential real estate. When dealing with commercial real estate transactions it is advised to have a real estate attorney review leases or purchase agreements prior to signing. This can help to ensure that you are not unknowingly becoming responsible for more than you initially thought, or unknowingly giving up rights.
Establishing a relationship with a real estate attorney prior to finding yourself in a situation where one is needed is crucial. This pre-established relationship ensures that when the need for a quick legal review due to tight time frames arises your attorney will already be familiar with the you and your needs. This allows for your attorney to be able to provide you with valuable input and advice quickly to meet the established time frame. Whereas, if you wait to hire a real estate attorney until you need one, you won’t be guaranteed the preferential treatment that established clients receive, therefore, risk not meeting the deadline due to an attorney not being familiar with the client or transaction.
Purchasing or selling real estate involves large sums of money, which is why it is a good practice to involve and discuss your plans with a reputable real estate attorney prior to entering a purchase agreement. By establishing a relationship with a real estate attorney before the need arises can ensure that your attorney knows your goals and can step in at a moment’s notice. The law firm of Warren S. Dank, ESQ., P.C. are experienced NYC real estate attorneys who are committed to helping each of our clients have a successful experience with the transition of real estate. Whether you are looking to buy, sell, or lease real estate in New York City, consider Warren S. Dank, ESQ., P.C. to help you navigate every step of the process. Contact the law firm of Warren S. Dank, ESQ., P.C. today to learn how we can help you have a successful real estate transaction, without the stress and worry of doing it yourself.