The Role of Attorneys in Our Real Estate Market

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What's the role of an attorney in a real estate transaction? It's more significant than you might think.

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In today's episode of the "Keeping in Tune With the Market," I wanted to answer a question about your attorney's role when buying and selling real estate. In New York, attorneys generally prepare and are legally responsible for both the contract of sale and the closing documents. That said, your Realtor will generally be involved before the attorney because in New York, you want to complete your home inspections before they prepare the contracts. This is important for both the buyer and the seller to know because once the inspection is done, the agent generally gets involved by helping the buyer and seller negotiate any repairs that need to be done or any credits that need to be made for anything that wasn't working at the time of the inspection. At that point, the attorney gets all the information they need from the seller, then they prepare the contracts, which go out to the buyer and the buyer's attorney. They'll review them, and this process usually goes back and forth a few times over the phone or email over the course of a few days. Then, the buyer will sign the contract and bring their good faith deposit, which is generally held in an escrow account.

The sooner you have a title search performed, the better.

After that, the attorney will begin to submit all the documents to the title company where a title search is done. The title company will then decide whether there are any legal issues or if there are any outstanding certificates of occupancy.

This is exactly why we always recommend that your attorney gets a title search done sooner rather than later so that you can find out if any problems need to be rectified before closing.

Then, the Realtor gets involved again to meet with the appraiser and make sure the home appraises properly. They'll also help the buyer and seller with a final walkthrough and prepare for the closing.

If you have any questions about this process, don't hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I'll be sending a $10 Panera gift to Jan for having her questions answered. If you ask a question that I answer in future videos, you'll win a gift card too.

Until then, make it a great day!

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