At David L. Moss & Associates, we can guide you through vast legal complexities that may arise from buying or selling a house in the New York City area. Buying or selling a house can be a stressful time in one’s life. Our experienced attorneys can help you avoid the tedious aspects of real estate transaction that are necessary to secure the deal.
In most home purchases, the seller enters into a written brokerage contract with a real estate agent. When the broker finds a potential buyer, negotiations are conducted through the broker acting as an intermediary. The buyer and seller then enter into a written agreement, that is, a contract of sale. If necessary, the buyer then obtains a commitment for financing, after which the title is searched to satisfy the lender and the buyer as to whether there is the marketable title. At closing, when the parties have met all of their obligations and duties as per the terms of the agreement, the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
With the help of an experienced real estate attorney, a seller or buy can avoid various issues that may prove disastrous for either the seller or the buyer due to a number of reasons. First, the seller may sign a brokerage agreement that does not encompass a number of legal concerns. For example, the seller may become liable to pay a brokerage commission even when a sale does not occur as planned. Even if the agreement is signed in a “standard form,” its terms should be explained to the seller and revised if necessary. An attorney is also necessary to determine whether the agreement was properly signed.
It is also necessary for both the buyer and the seller to consult an attorney in order to accurately assess the tax consequences of the purchase or sale of the house. The tax concerns in purchase or sale of a house include the transaction’s effect on one’s income tax and whether the seller will be able to take tax provision allowing for exclusion of capital gains.
An attorney is also necessary for the purpose of dealing with the contract of sale and securing financing for the purchased house. For both the seller and the buyer, the presence of an attorney provides him or her with a full understanding of the transaction’s terms and ability to make changes and additions for the transaction to advance his or her interests. For buyers, the financing (i.e. mortgage) of the purchased property also requires the legal assistance of an experienced lawyer to choose the right mortgage for the buyer’s needs and fully understand the terms of the mortgage.
Even after the contract is signed, the attorney must review the title search and explain the areas covered (or not covered) by the title transferred by the purchase of the house. This is often of a great deal of importance because the title may not allow the buyer to make certain changes to the house such as a swimming pool or a tennis court. Also, an attorney may help the buyer investigating the existing and prospective zoning ordinances that could restrict the buyer’s use of the property after the purchase.
Reviewing the survey and closing the transaction also necessitates the presence of an attorney. A property’s survey map is a necessary part of a title search; conducting an accurate survey is often important because failure to do so may result in your neighbor’s encroachment to your property or vice versa. The presence of an experienced real estate attorney can prevent such problems from taking place. Finally, an attorney is often necessary to ensure that all required documents and closing costs in the closing of a real estate transaction. An attorney is also needed for adequate explanations of the closing document to various parties in the transaction (seller, buyer, and the lender).