Manhattan Real Estate Lawyer

Important Considerations When Buying a Property with Your Significant Other in Manhattan

Buying a property with your significant otherBuying a property with your significant other can be an extremely stressful proposition. Yes, it can make it easier to live together, and doing it right can ensure that both of your financial assets and rights are protected. However, there are a few things you should do in order to make sure that both of you have your wallets protected.  Follow the tips below on how to buy a property with your significant other.   

First, when it comes to buying a property with your significant other, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. First: Are you married? This makes a big difference. If you are married, and both of your names are on the title, it increases the chance of coming to a more reasonable, 50/50 settlement.  Indeed, when it comes to sheer equanimity, putting both of your names on the title is probably the simplest thing to do. It also makes life easier if one of you were to die. 

In the event of a divorce or separation, things can get more complicated. If there is a prenup, your life will become easier – at least from a legal perspective. The prenup should unquestionably address the disposition of any assets, including property. Barring a prenup, a few items will likely be brought into account in the event of a separation. This includes total income and contribution to house payments and if the property was owned by one party before the marriage.

If you are not married and purchasing property together, how to buy a property with your significant other can get a lot more complicated. First, talk with your partner, and make sure you are clear on who will pay for what. This includes all shared expenses, such as a mortgage, taxes, and insurance. Furthermore, there will be other repairs that you want to make sure you are clear on, including repairs, maintenance, groceries, and utilities. The best thing you can do is communicate with your partner ahead of time. In the interest of protecting yourself, you may consider drawing up paperwork that will deal with how the asset will be disposed of if the relationship ends.

Whether you are married or unmarried, you may be interested in getting clear about how your assets may be divided in the event of a breakup.  We can help you understand the laws relating to the disposition of joint assets and making sure your finances are protected in the event of a breakup, call Sabra Law Group today at 646-472-7971.

We can also help get you to determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you and your partner.  Or, if you are going through a divorce of any level of contention, you would benefit from using our long-term experience in divorce and mediation. Don't wait – call today at 646-472-7971, and make sure your future is protected. 






How to Protect Your Business Financially During a Divorce

protect your business financially

Are you a business owner who is considering divorce amongst the pandemic?  If so, you are not alone, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress and upheaval.   Whether that stress has been financial, emotional, or caused by other extenuating factors, it has definitely contributed to the rising divorce statistics.


When there are children, real estate, and businesses involved in a divorce, it definitely makes the divorce process more complex. 


By being more knowledgeable, it can give you the upper hand. It is best to speak to legal and financial professionals who can provide guidance based on your state’s regulations.


The first aspect to consider is that your spouse’s attorney may request financial documents related to the business as well as an explanation of what type of business you own and how it is structured.


It is best for you to continue focusing on your business and perhaps appoint your accountant or a business appraiser as the designated person who will compile all the necessary documents and information.


Furthermore, the best way to approach this is to be upfront and honest and not hold anything back.  The more upfront you are from the beginning, the smoother the entire process will go.


It is also important to consider that depending on the complexity of your business; your spouse’s attorney may not understand the business; which can complicate matters if not handled strategically.  The best way to handle this is to set up a meeting with both side’s attorneys, both spouses, and a financial expert.   This meeting will help provide more clarity to your legal team so they can provide the best guidance.  


What Happens When Both Spouses Own the Business Together?


For the most part, it is unlikely that both parties would remain a part of the business after the divorce.  A more realistic scenario may be that one party may end up buying the other party out or giving up the business with their soon to be ex-spouse and start a separate new business (whether solo or with additional business partners). 


The business partner that usually ends up staying in the business or buying the other partner out is the one that was the most involved in the business (this can equate to more hours spent, more investment spent, more contributions made, etc.).  


If you need assistance with how to protect your business financially during a divorce, contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.






How to Stage Your Condo in Manhattan for a Quicker Sale

Staging Your Condo in ManhattanThe Manhattan real estate market moves at lightning speed. This makes it imperative that sellers do everything they can to maximize the chances of their property getting noticed and seen by the largest possible number of potential buyers.

One of the ways to do this is to stage your condo or coop. "Staging" refers to making your apartment look its absolute best before it goes on the market. Accordingly, when pictures of your apartment go online, potential buyers will be lining up around the block to get a better look.

When you stage your apartment, the first step likely is to eliminate clutter. This can be a difficult, time-consuming step, but it is worthwhile. Not only will your coop or condo look better in photographs and during tours but also you won't have to move a lot of unnecessary items to your new home.

With the clutter gone, it's time to do a deep cleaning. Make certain that surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms and the floors in every room are particularly clean and attractive.

Before your home is shown, make certain to let in the light. Pull back curtains and raise the blinds before potential buyers arrive. Also, pay attention to your artificial lighting. Clean or replace dingy shades and dated fixtures so that people see your apartment in the best possible light.

It also may be advisable to remove at least some of your furniture from the coop or condo. A good rule of thumb is to eliminate about half of your existing pieces. You can rent off-site storage for this purpose. While this sounds like an extreme step to some sellers, it can make a huge difference. Buyers will see your apartment as much larger, giving them plenty of space for their own stuff.

While legal advice is not necessarily required when selling real estate in Manhattan, it is advisable to seek some guidance from a lawyer. An experienced real estate attorney can help you to sign a fair and balanced agreement with the Realtor who will assist you with the selling process and go over all paperwork that is associated with the real estate transaction. With their assistance, you can have the peace of mind of knowing that your best interests are protected.

If you would like more advice concerning how to stage your condo or coop regarding any legal assistance with home buying or selling, contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.


Why It is Important to Have Your Own Attorney When Refinancing Your Home

refinancing your home, condo, coopRefinancing your home is a major financial decision that requires consideration. The right deal can mean lowering your interest rate, lowering your payment or even reducing the loan's term. Some refinance packages even allow you to borrow against your home's equity.

Time and paperwork are required when refinancing your condo. It can be a stressful time, and the borrower may encounter many terms and provisions with which they are unfamiliar. Although an attorney isn't required to help you complete this process, there are situations in which it may make sense to seek legal advice.

For instance, when you are refinancing your home, you may encounter a situation in which the loan documents with which you are presented at the end of the process do not match what was promised to you. Perhaps it is the result of a simple mathematical or typographical error that can be quickly corrected. However, if you find that your understanding and that of the lender are widely different, then you may need to consult a real estate lawyer of your own choosing.

A common misconception is that while there will likely be an attorney at the closing and signing of the loan documents, the attorney, if not specifically hired by you, is actually the attorney for the lender who is simply present to ensure that the documents are signed by you.  The attorney for the lender is not your attorney and has no obligation to explain any of the documents to you.

It also may be necessary to ask your own attorney to ensure that the original mortgage that is being paid off is properly discharged. If it is not, then you may have difficulty in the future when trying to obtain a clear title. You don't want refinancing your condo to affect your ability to sell it in the future.

Occasionally, it makes sense to call in a real estate attorney at the beginning of the process when you're hoping to discover the reputation of a potential new lender. The unfortunate reality is that there are numerous scammers out there that are happy to steal your personal data or sell you a mortgage that is not precisely above board. If you have any questions or concerns about a mortgage company or feel that you may have been the victim of a scam, do not hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer.

If you are thinking about refinancing your home, don't be in too much of a rush. This is a complicated financial transaction that requires time and consideration. The choice you make may affect your future for decades, so it's worth a delay of a few weeks to ensure that you're really getting a good deal.

Contact the real estate attorney Sabra Sasson at the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to learn more about how they can help with refinancing your home, condo, or coop.


How to Prepare for Listing Your Property in Manhattan

How to Prepare for Listing Your Property in ManhattanSelling real estate is always a daunting prospect. However, the difficulties multiply in major metropolitan areas like Manhattan. The market moves so quickly. How can you be sure you're ready to make the leap?

When it comes to listing your property in Manhattan, you need all the help you can get.

Whether you're moving out of the city, need a bigger place to accommodate a growing family or are downsizing after the kids have left home, you have a big job ahead of you. For most people, that job begins with decluttering, cleaning and repairing.

Getting rid of clutter means that your home will look better to prospective buyers while also ensuring that you won't have to move stuff you don't want. A deep cleaning helps your home to look its best, and making minor repairs is an excellent way to reassure buyers that they aren't taking on several DIY projects.

In addition to sprucing up the place before listing your property in Manhattan, you'll want to find a reputable Realtor who's going to work hard to get your home sold. They help you set a price that's going to appeal to buyers. Getting this right is a real art. Set it too high, and no one will take an interest. Set it too low, and you're in danger of losing money on your investment. Additionally, your Realtor will know how to market your home, and they'll handle the negotiations with the buyer through the closing process.

The other player in this deal is a knowledgeable real estate attorney. Before signing a listing agreement with a Realtor, it makes sense to have this contract reviewed by an attorney. It's probably a standard agreement, but it never hurts to examine and understand all of the fine print. In particular, you will want to know if your realtor is getting an exclusive right to sell, exclusive agency or an open listing.   This keeps you from being shocked at any time during the selling process. 

Most listing agreements cover the Realtor's commission, the type of listing, the listing's duration and the list price in addition to the duties and obligations of both the agent and the seller. Your attorney also may advise you concerning any property disclosures that may be required. Typically, these involve disclosing information regarding pest infestations, material defects in the home's systems and any portions of the property that are commonly owned. 

Contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to speak to a real estate lawyer and learn more about listing your property in Manhattan.


How to Prepare for Buying Your First Condo in Manhattan

Buying a condo for the first time, especially in a competitive market like Manhattan, takes an extraordinary amount of planning and dedication. Many people fail to plan, which means that their hunt takes longer and is likely much more expensive than it has to be. When you prepare for buying your first condo in Manhattan, you'll be much closer to making your dream of home ownership a reality.

Start with Neighborhoods

Maybe you already have some ideas about which neighborhood suits you. Whether you're thinking Upper Manhattan or Bed-Stuy, spend some time in all of the communities that are of most interest to you. Get to know the buildings and the layout. Start dipping your toe into the local real estate market by browsing Zillow and similar sites. This gives you an opportunity to narrow your focus to a likely handful of neighborhoods.

Get Pre-Approved for Financing

When you're buying your first condo in Manhattan, mortgage pre-approval makes all the difference. That's especially true because there is a surprising number of cash buyers out there. Also, if you find yourself in a bidding war and the other bidder is pre-approved, then that war might be over before it starts. Things happen fast in the Manhattan real estate market. You have to be ready to strike with pre-approved financing.

Find a Real Estate Broker

In a seller's market, many brokers hardly seem interested in working for buyers. Accordingly, it is vital for you to find a reputable real estate broker who knows the business and is willing to be your tireless advocate. An experienced broker will sniff out promising condos and work fast to ensure that your bids receive the attention they deserve.

Be Prepared for the Long Haul

Ideally, it would be wonderful to find that perfect condo on your first open house expedition. The reality is that that rarely happens. Condo buyers in Manhattan could easily spend months or even a year trying to find the condo that's right for them. Usually, this involves bidding on more than one property. Make peace with the idea that frustration is likely to be your companion many times.

A competent Manhattan real estate lawyer can help you with real estate closings, reviewing contracts and other related matters. Contact Sabra Law Group today at 646-472-7971 to learn more.

For more information, listen to a real estate expert on our podcast, Coffee Break With Sabra: 




3 Tips for Quickly Selling Your Condo in Manhattan

Before you put your condo on the market to sell it, it is essential to know the unique selling points and challenges. The right price, marketing strategy and timing will all play a part in a successful sale. 

The best time of the year to sell your condo is usually the spring. The holiday time can be especially challenging in Manhattan due to the brutal winter weather. The holiday time is also a very stressful and busy time for many people; the last thing on their mind is to move on top of all of the other holiday demands.

Appropriately Price Your Condo

Setting the right price will determine the amount of traffic you will get to the condo.  If you price it too high, you may miss out on the optimal opportunity to get the right buyers in.  If you price it too low, then you could lose a lot of money.   Check other comps for your building as well as comparable condos in the neighborhood.   Also, keep in mind that just because you put $100K of remodeling into the unit; does not mean that you can price your unit at an extra $100K.  Your taste in flooring or expensive countertops may not match that of your “potential buyer” who may prefer a more traditional look.  

How to Stage Your Condo

It is important to make your condo stand apart as there may be multiple listings in your building at the same time for the same floor plan.  The first step is to thoroughly clean your condo or hire a cleaning company to do so.  The next step is to declutter and get rid of excess things and any items that may make the condo look cluttered.  Finally, you may want to hire a handyman or contractor to make any repairs that are necessary.  

If you don’t have the time to stage your condo, you can also hire a professional staging company who can handle the entire process for you (some real estate brokerage firms offer this service as well). 

Marketing Your Condo

Marketing is a critical part of getting your condo to sell.  Evaluate what sets your building apart from other buildings in the area and showcase that.  What amenities does your condo have that others would find desirable?  What is unique about your neighborhood? Make a list and gather professional photos of the building, amenities area, and inside of the unit.  It is best to hire a professional photographer; remember the images or video footage is what is going to captivate a potential buyer to come in and view the unit.  

Selling Your Condo in Manhattan? 

For more information, listen to our interview with a real estate expert on our podcast Coffeebreak With Sabra: 


If you need assistance with real estate closings or handling real estate legal matters, contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.




Manhattan Real Estate Lawyer Shares Tips for Selling Your Condo in New York

Selling a condo in New York isn't like selling real estate anywhere else. That's because the market moves with lightning speed. If you're not prepared for it, you may miss out on an opportunity to close a deal with a perfect buyer. Use these tips to make certain that you are well-informed about the process, then meet with a Manhattan real estate lawyer who can provide you with guidance throughout the sale.

1. Set the Stage

Before you even think of listing your condo or hiring a Realtor, you need to assess every room with fresh eyes. Now is the time to declutter and get your condo looking spacious and new. Professional stagers can be hired to complete this sometimes monumental task for you, but you also can do it yourself. Consider renting a storage space for excess clutter, and hide away any shabby pieces of furniture. The cleaner and spacious your condo looks, the more attractive it is to potential buyers.

2. Hire an Agent

Real estate commissions in the Manhattan area generally are between five and six percent of the sale price. That seems steep, which is why more people are going the for sale by owner, or FSBO, route. However, it's critical that you think long and hard before deciding you don't need an agent. Without a Realtor, you'll have to become a real estate expert (and financial expert so that you can properly evaluate potential purchasers), and you'll lose countless hours trying to sell your condo. That commission really is a small price to pay for expertise and a faster sale.

3. Review and Negotiate the Listing Agreement

The listing agreement is a contract between you and your Realtor that contains items like the length of the listing period, the desired sale price and the amount of the commission. Many of the items are negotiable, so you may want to discuss the agreement with a Manhattan real estate lawyer before signing on the dotted line.

Using these tips will help you to move along the sale of your condo. Of course, one of the most effective things you can do is to rely on the advice of a Manhattan real estate lawyer at the Sabra Law Group. Call Sabra Sasson today at 646-472-7971 to learn more about negotiating the listing agreement, reviewing contracts, negotiating with potential buyers and other aspects relating to real estate transactions in New York.

For more information, listen to a real estate expert on our podcast, Coffee Break With Sabra: 

Important Factors to Consider When Selling Your Condo in Manhattan

If you are thinking about putting your condo on the market in Manhattan, it is best to be well prepared.  Buyers have many choices in Manhattan and can choose to be discerning.   If you want your property to seem attractive to buyers, you have to accentuate the positive parts of the condo, the neighborhood, and amenities. 

In order to figure out what buyers are looking for, you have to put yourself in their shoes.   First, determine if your condo is ideal for single people or is it also fit to accommodate a small family?  Second, ask your friends what they would want in a condo, if they were in the market to buy?

Furthermore, do your research and look at other comps to see which units in your building sold quickly and if they had any special features.  

Requirements for buying a condo will vary from person to person, however, it is a good idea to keep certain things in mind:

  1. Closet place and storage can be important to many people.   Make sure that your closets are clean and organized before listing your property.   If your building has access to buy or rent extra storage; make sure you mention that to your realtor.  
  2. If your windows are double-paned, make sure to point this out as well.  Double-paned windows reduce noise from the outside.
  3. Security: for many people, living in a secure building in a requirement.  Be prepared to talk about what your condo building does to keep the building secure.  Remember to mention things such as 24-hour concierge/doorman, security cameras in garage, key fob only access to elevators/floors. 
  4. Upgrades to condo:  sometimes upgrades may add more desirability to a property.  The key is that the upgrades must be useful rather than just for aesthetic purposes.  For example: blackout shades are a useful addition as they can block out too much sun during the day or bright lights at night.  Automatic lighting may also appeal to some buyers who like the convenience of controlling their lights from an app on their phone.

Selling Your Condo in Manhattan?

Sabra Law Group can assist you with all of your legal real estate matters.   Whether you need assistance with a real estate closing, or contracts, Sabra can assist you.  Contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971. 

For more information, listen to our interview with a real estate expert on Coffee Break With Sabra:



New York Neighborhoods that Yield a Good Return on Your Investment in 2017

Buying a real estate property in Manhattan can come with a hefty price tag as well as a substantial down payment.  If you are thinking of making an investment in New York real estate, it is best to do your homework and determine which neighborhoods will get you the best return on your investment. 

If you are currently renting and not considering buying a place in New York, it may be surprising that in certain neighborhoods it is actually better to rent than buy.  

As of August 2017, the average price per square foot in Manhattan currently sits at $1,773 (according to NeighborhoodX analysis); which is even higher than San Francisco or Los Angeles.  This can make it difficult for many people to invest in a property in Manhattan, however, doing your research first may expand your search into surrounding communities that may be more affordable.

Insights on New York Neighborhoods 

A real estate platform called Sharestates had some valuable insights based on return on investment (ROI), after repair value (ARV), the increase in demand over the past year (based on real estate loans in the area), and the area’s median sales price. 

They found that Richmond Hill, a neighborhood in Queens, provides buyers with an average return on investment of 12%.  Furthermore, the average sales price was $542,500. 

In Brooklyn, the Bed-Stuy neighborhood followed with an average return on investment of 11% and an average sales price of $745,000. 

Harlem is another neighborhood worth looking into if you are seeking a high return on investment.  In Harlem, townhouse prices have increased 171 percent since 2009 according to a study published by PropertyShark.  They also found that the average price per square foot increased from $237 in 2009 to $642 in 2017.  

Consult a Manhattan Real Estate Lawyer Who Can Guide You

In addition to the sales price of a property in New York, you will also need to plan for closing costs and other fees associated with buying property in New York.  It is best to consult an experienced Manhattan real estate lawyer who can guide you in the right direction. 

If you need assistance with real estate transactions, contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 for a confidential consultation.