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Are Attorneys Required for a Real Estate Closing



New York is unusual compared to the rest of the country. New York State Judiciary Law § 484 requires a licensed attorney to conduct all real estate closings. This is not the case in most states. In most of the country, attorneys are not required to conduct closings, though in many cases a real estate agent may advise that an attorney be hired. In some states, such as Louisiana, attorneys are not required to conduct the closing, but are required to examine and certify the title before closing.


In other states, attorneys might be less involved in the home buying process. For example in Florida, the realtor handles things from the contract to escrow to clearing the title and everything in between. In New York, both sides of the transaction will hire an attorney to represent their interests. Even an experienced buyer or seller will hire an attorney.

Why Hiring an Attorney is a Good Idea?


At Taub & Bogaty, our business model follows a path of education and communication. We find that the more we educate our clients regarding the purchase or sale process, the better prepared they will be for whatever comes up during the course of the transaction. Realtors are primarily interested in getting the deal into contract. A good realtor will get involved during the sale to overcome certain bumps in the road. Once the attorneys get involved the realtors are there to help facilitate the deal.


The buying or selling process can be daunting for most people. The average person will buy or sell one or two houses in a lifetime. Families may purchase a starter house and then a trade-up to a larger home as their family grows. For most people, this is a significant transaction with a lot of moving parts. We explain to our clients how all the pieces fit together and increase their comfort level during the course of the transaction.


What are People Most Worried about in a Real Estate Transaction?


In the New York Metropolitan area, a concern for most people is the mortgage contingency clause. Unless it is an all-cash deal, most buyers are working to obtain financing. For some people, this is a difficult task, and they are concerned they might lose a portion or all their down payment if they cannot get to the closing table. We work with our clients to answer any questions and make sure they are comfortable going through the process of the purchase of their home.

As a buyer’s attorney, we will work to include protection in the contract if the buyer does not qualify for financing so that their payment is not at risk. What we add in the agreement is something called the mortgage contingency clause. This clause has specific provisions that protect the buyer if the bank rejects them for a loan. Typically, the requirement will protect any buyer as long as they truthfully and diligently pursue the mortgage and cooperate with the loan officer in the application process. If they cannot secure a mortgage commitment from a lender within a specified period, they have the right to cancel the deal and get their money back.


Taub and Bogaty Represents Buyer and Sellers


We handle any real estate transaction for buyers or sellers, including co-ops, condos, and single and multi-family homes. We have the experience you are looking for in all areas of real estate law here in Nassau and Suffolk Counties here in Long Island, New York.

For more information on Real Estate Transactions in New York, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (516)531-2500 today.

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