When to Engage a New York Real Estate Attorney

It can be difficult to know when a New York real estate attorney would be helpful to you, and you may be reluctant to involve one, for financial or other reasons.  However, it is important to recognize when real estate attorneys can be useful to you so you can make informed decisions on whether or not you should hire one.

Unless you have an extensive background in real estate law, a real estate attorney will be able to help you navigate and understand the legality of real estate better than you would be able to on your own.  You may consider hiring a a real estate attorney if you find yourself in a situation where a real estate agent cannot help you; if the knowledge is out of their depth, it is probably out of yours as well, and a real estate attorney is more likely to have the answers.  Moreover, in New York, it is unlawful for a realtor to negotiate a real estate contract of sale as it is considered to be the unlawful practice of law.

If you are in a situation where there is a potential for you to be faced with legal problems, you should get a lawyer involved for protection, even if you are just taking preventative measures.  If there is any doubt in your mind, a real estate attorney can help assuage your concerns and make sure you don’t make decisions that could end up hurting you later.

In addition, real estate laws are not identical in every state, so even if you have been involved in a real estate transaction in another State you will want a New York real estate attorney to represent your interests in the New York area where you are considering a real estate deal.   Having one on hand will lighten your workload, as you will then have to take less time to educate yourself on the laws of the state.  Your lawyer can also offer you more protection than you are likely to be able to provide for yourself.

It is also likely that the other party involved in the transaction will be represented by a New York real estate attorney and if you don’t have one as well, then the odds will be stacked against you and you might wind up making a bad deal or, worse, you may miss a crucial provision in the contract of sale that could cost you thousands of dollars. 

Several years ago, a colleague of mine, an attorney contacted me seeking my advice regarding a real estate transaction that he was involved in.  He had a few questions and we discussed them.   A while later he contacted me again and asked for more information.    When I inquired further, I learned that he was attempting to negotiate a contract of sale for himself and he was struggling with it and felt that the other attorney for the other party was not negotiating fairly.   I offered my services to assist him with the contract negotiations and showed him that even though he is an attorney himself, there are many nuances in real estate law that he was probably missing.   He was reluctant but eventually agreed to work with me.   He had believed that since he was a corporate attorney, negotiating a real estate contract would be “easy” for him.   After a month of negotiating he still did not have a signed contract.   However, after he agreed to hire me, his contract was fully negotiated and signed by both parties within a week.  While he was trying to be thorough in negotiating every nuance of the contract, he was missing the “bigger picture” and he lost sight of what he wanted – to sign a firm contract and sell the property.   By focusing on the issues that were relevant and important to the outcome, I was able to get the other party on board and refocused on what mattered, negotiate the deal and get it signed.     

With more than 17 years of practicing real estate law in New York and working with hundreds of clients and having closed 1000 transactions, Sabra Sasson, has the knowledge and expertise to handle any real estate transaction in New York.   For more information visit the Firm’s website and watch her interview that appeared on television at www.sassonrealestateattorney.com , or contact the office right now at 646-472-7971.  

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