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Buying or selling a home in NYC? Why you need a lawyer, Part I

New York City is like nowhere else in the world, and, for better or worse, real estate transactions here tend to be much more involved than in other parts of the country. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in NYC, the help of an experienced real estate attorney is crucial.

Reason 1: New York real estate transactions are very complex.

Legally speaking, you are not required to be represented by an attorney when buying or selling your home. But from a practical standpoint, it is hard to imagine closing a deal without the services and guidance an experienced attorney provides.

Here are just some of the services a real estate lawyer offers:

  • Research into a property's history, including any unresolved liens
  • The ability to draft sales/purchase contracts
  • The ability to pore over the other party's contract to ensure that it is fair and reasonable
  • The ability to negotiate contract terms on your behalf
  • The experience and knowledge to decipher minutes from co-op board meetings to discover potential problems
  • An objective point of view when you feel overwhelmed and bogged down in details

It is customary for home buyers and sellers in New York to hire their own lawyers. In addition, banks have their lawyers, co-ops have theirs and pay-off banks theirs. The other parties have representation; you should as well. Hiring a lawyer is a smart investment. We'll discuss more reasons why later this week.

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