When thinking about purchasing real estate, whether a new home, apartment or commercial property, it is going to be in your best interest to hire a Long Island real estate lawyer. Often people don’t consider hiring an attorney, thinking they can either handle the legal process themselves, don’t want to spend the money, or think they don’t need both an attorney and a real estate agent. You might be tempted to believe that these are valid reasons to not hire a real estate attorney. But those experienced with purchasing real estate will tell you different. So, before you enter into a real estate agreement without an attorney or dismiss the idea of hiring an attorney altogether, here are 5 things real estate attorneys wish you knew.
- Don’t Wait to Call an Attorney.
When entering into a real estate contract, you have to be careful to protect yourself and to ensure that you don’t get stuck with an unseen debt or other major pitfalls you didn’t anticipate. When you call and hire an attorney prior to entering into a contract, your attorney will be able to protect your interests. If you wait to hire an attorney until after you’ve entered into a contract, there isn’t much that your attorney will be able to do to help you. Be proactive and hire an attorney when you first start looking to purchase real estate.
- Hire a Real Estate Attorney.
It might appear as common sense that if you are going to be entering into a real estate contract that you’ll want a real estate attorney. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of not hiring an attorney that specializes in real estate. While most attorneys will understand contracts, only an attorney who specializes in the complex laws of real estate will be able to represent you effectively. Don’t be tempted to hire an attorney recommended to you by friends or family who doesn’t practice real estate law.
- Attorneys Can Do Things Real Estate Agents Cannot.
Depending on your state, some states require that a real estate attorney be involved with the closing of all real estate transactions. Other states permit real estate agents to prepare purchase contracts without having to involve attorneys. When attorneys are involved as required by state law, the buyer is usually the one responsible for paying the attorney fees. When a real estate attorney is involved, the attorney is going to act as a moderator between the two parties, ensuring that the transaction follows the law. This is especially beneficial if you are looking to include unusual terms to the real estate contract or are concerned about specific issues of the contract. A real estate attorney will be able to provide legal advice, whereas a real estate agent will not.
- Real Estate Attorneys Benefit Sellers Too.
When it comes to hiring a real estate attorney, buyers are more likely to hire an attorney than sellers. But sellers can also benefit from an attorney, especially for complex transactions. Additionally, an attorney can help sellers understand and prepare for a wide array of tax consequences that come from selling real estate. Laws allow sellers to be exempt from a specified amount of capital gains tax, but that amount doesn’t include selling costs, closing costs, or a home’s tax basis. This can get confusing. Which is why having a real estate attorney to help you navigate the transaction, accurately calculate your capital gains, and save you on taxes along the way proves beneficial.
- Real Estate Attorneys Do a Lot of Work Behind-the-Scenes.
In the best-case scenario, your Long Island real estate lawyer will come back and tell you to go ahead with the purchase. When this happens, you might be wondering what you just paid your attorney to do. What you don’t always see is that your attorney does a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure that you are making a sound purchase and providing you with peace of mind, before entering into a large financial commitment. With the work your attorney does behind the scenes, you’ll know you are purchasing real estate that comes with a clean title and the terms and conditions are fair to you.
Warren S. Dank, ESQ., P.C. is a licensed real estate attorney in NYC and is committed to helping you make real estate purchases that are fair and protect your interests. Before you enter into a real estate agreement, contact the office of Warren S. Dank, ESQ., P.C. today. You’ll be glad you did.