Role of Buyer’s Attorney in Real Estate Closing

Rincker Law Environmental Law, Hazardous Materials, Land Use & Zoning Law, Property Law, Real Estate Transactions 4 Comments

I have had several real closings this week and was reminded this morning of this pamphlet from the New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) on the Attorney’s Role in Home Purchases.  Most of us will purchase property at some point in our lives.  The pamphlet properly describes the various responsibilities of the Buyer’s/Borrower’s attorney in real estate transactions including, but not limited to:  (1) dealing with the broker, (2) advising client on tax consequence of the purchase, (3)  reviewing/drafting/negotiating the contract sale, (4) (sometimes) helping the client obtain financing, (5) ordering/reviewing a title search, (6) deciphering whether there are zoning concerns, (7) making sure warranties are upheld and proper credits given to Buyer after the home inspection, and (8) (the fun stuff) attending the closing and making sure that the closing documents are accurate.

With cooperatives, there are several other things that the Buyer’s attorney might do including, but not limited to, conducting a lien search, reviewing meeting minutes, evaluating the financial statements, and looking at the Bylaws.  If you are a pet owner, it is especially important that your attorney review the cooperative agreement to understand the policy for companion animals.  Shareholders oftentimes have issues with their cooperative board when dealing with pets.  I hope to discuss some of these issues in a later blog.

Even though the pamphlet is specific for residential/home purchases, it is even more important to involve an attorney with the purchase/sale of a farm or commercial property.  There may be unique environmental issues that the attorney may have to evaluate (e.g., leaky tank).

On that note, I am heading out to Suffolk County today for a real estate closing for a property in the Hamptons.  The weather is absolutely beautiful here in New York City.  Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

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Comments 4

  1. Pingback: Looking Back: Two-Year Blogging Anniversary | Food and Agriculture Law Blog

  2. Please respond if you have experience in drafting Bill of sales and purchase agreements.
    James Greger

  3. I find it fascinating that a real estate attorney could authorize a title search to prevent any legal issues before you finalize a purchase. I saw online ads that offer legal help to first-time homebuyers and I got curious why anyone would need it. I should consider looking into this as well before I purchase that riverside home when I’m rich enough.

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