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Real Estate Lawyer in New York

new york real estate lawyer

As a real estate lawyer in New York, we practice in the areas of both residential and commercial real estate.

Real estate is the largest investment most people will make in their lifetime. Because real estate is expensive, it is important to always be guided by an experienced lawyer when buying or selling properties or doing anything else when real property is involved.

If you are looking for a real estate lawyer in New York, NY, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.

When we work as a residential real estate lawyer, we primarily focus on purchase and sale of properties

A residential real estate lawyer’s primary occupation is representing either the buyer or the seller when they are buying or selling a home. In New York, it is customary for the buyer and the seller to each be represented by a separate lawyer in the sale and purchase transaction. Here are some of the things that residential real estate lawyers does in the home sale process, leading up to and during the closing:

  • draft or review the contract
  • draft or review the deed or stock certificate
  • order and review the title report
  • draft and review the closing statement
  • determine the closing costs
  • review mortgage documents
  • make sure the buyer gets their money in full
  • make sure the seller gets a clear title

But we also do other things

Real estate closings are not the only things a New York real estate lawyer does. Here are some other projects that we may be involved in:

  • Foreclosure
  • Refinance
  • Leases
  • Zoning
  • Adverse Possession
  • Landlord-tenant issues
  • Evictions
  • Construction Permits
  • Mechanics Liens
  • Disputes with contractors
  • Disputes with the city or state government
  • Trusts
  • Disputes with the co-op board
  • Issues with the proprietary lease in a co-op apartment
  • Cloud on title
  • Easements

How to choose a residential real estate lawyer

In choosing a residential real estate lawyer, you should consider the following two points.

First, choose a lawyer who is working in your real estate location. For example, if you would like to buy in New York City or Brooklyn, get a lawyer from that area because he would be more experienced working on condominiums, cooperatives, and apartments, unlike a residential real estate lawyer in White Plains whose experience is targeted towards single-family homes.

However, don’t choose a lawyer who is too overloaded with real estate transactions that he uses a standard approach to all closings. Even if residential real estate sales are similar, each transaction is different because a seller and a buyer might have a unique set of circumstances that might require the drafting of additional language in the purchase contract.

Although referrals are good, be wary of lawyer referrals of the brokers, because these lawyers may feel the need to push through with a transaction rather than considering your bests interests, just so that they could get future referrals again from the same broker.

Ultimately, it is important to find a residential real estate lawyer who you can trust and in whom you have confidence, who replies immediately and is accessible to confidently answer any questions you might have.

Second, ask for the lawyer’s fees. These fees normally range from $1,500 to $3,000 for an average closing transaction. This should include reviewing the transaction documents, due diligence, going to the managing agent’s office to read the building’s financials, minutes, and offering plan (if the building is less than 5 years old). You check also to see if the attorney’s fees are partially refundable if the deal does not go through.

The work of a residential real estate lawyer

Once you have decided to buy real estate, it’s important to get a residential real estate lawyer onboard from the start, rather than after you have made an offer. A residential real estate lawyer, in the initial stage, can already advise you on all stages of a purchase, from the best ownership structure to acquire the property based on your family status and long-term financial objectives (i.e., using an LLC, trust, tenancy by the entirety, joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, sole ownership, etc.) to going over deal terms before contract negotiation.

Once you have decided on a particular real estate property to purchase, your residential real estate lawyer will negotiate a contract of sale with the seller’s attorney. Some provisions to look out for are the return of the earnest money deposit if the sale does not go through due to financing or otherwise and the consequences in case the final walk-through reveals that the property’s condition has changed.

Your residential real estate lawyer will perform due diligence over the property. This includes ordering and reviewing a title report to see if the real property’s title is clean and unencumbered. If the report shows irregularities, the lawyer will attempt to resolve any clouds of the title with the seller and the title insurance company before closing. Other due diligence matters include reviewing the condo’s minutes, by-laws, financials, offering plans, and building’s rules and regulations to see if there are any problems in the building (such as persistent building leaks, gas issues, or pending increase in dues). The residential real estate lawyer will also review public records to see if the apartment is rent-controlled or rent-stabilized and if there are any violations at the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD), and if real estate taxes or HPD liens have been paid.

If you are financing the property with a mortgage, your residential real estate lawyer will assist you in preparing the mortgage application and reviewing the mortgage commitments to ensure all conditions in the commitment letter have been satisfied prior to closing. If you are buying a condo, your lawyer will ensure you receive the condo board’s waiver of the right of first refusal to purchase the condominium unit from the seller.

The lawyer will be with you in the final walk-through to see if there have been no changes to the property’s condition since contract execution and that the seller has made all the agreed-upon repairs. They will explain to you all closing costs, including real estate transfer and mortgage recording taxes, title insurance costs, real estate taxes, and other fees. During closing, your residential real estate lawyer will ensure all documents are executed and on hand to ensure a smooth transfer and will thereafter record the deed in the Department of Finance Registry in order to transfer the interest from the seller to the buyer.

Buying real estate is a major life investment. For this reason, it is important to get a lawyer, like us, to guide you through the entire process when making this important decision. Should you need assistance, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.

What we do as a commercial real estate lawyer

As a commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY, I provide expertise in handling sales and purchase agreements between buyers and sellers, navigating landlord/tenant relationships, litigating real estate disputes, and assisting in the development of real estate.

Commercial real estate, whether leasing, purchasing, or developing, is a major investment, can cost more in New York than in other parts of the country. For this reason, it is important to bring in a lawyer at the beginning of the process in order to avoid mistakes and save more in the long term.

If you are looking for a commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We can be reached at 718-509-9774.

Sales and purchase agreements

A commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY should have experience in representing both buyers and sellers.

For buyers, although prices are normally fixed or negotiated between the seller’s and buyer’s agents, a lawyer can investigate whether the prices and other charges are justified. For example, if the unit is listed as a four-bedroom, but one of the bedrooms does not comply with the legal requirements (i.e., no window), the buyer can negotiate a price cut. The commercial real estate lawyer can also assist the buyer who is still interested in purchasing a property with structural issues, with an annotated lien on the title, or located in a flood or tornado zone. If the buyer seeks to purchase real estate property with one or more persons, the commercial real estate lawyer in can draft joint tenancy or tenancy in common agreements to outline the relationship among co-owners in order to prevent potential disputes. Other typical services of a commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY are the review and negotiation of the contract of sale, review of underlying leases, preparation of lawyer opinion letter for the lender, explanation of the real estate contract and mortgage commitment to the buyer, reviewing offering plans, meeting minutes, and financial statements for the purchase of condos and co-ops, title examinations (title and lien searches), computing tax liabilities and verifying whether there are unpaid real estate taxes or liens, to name a few.

A commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY can also help resolve issues of sellers facing unique circumstances such as uncancelled liens, selling properties with an existing lease, or selling one’s interest in a property co-owned with others. Other services for sellers involve assistance in cases of the buyer’s breach of contract, such as failure to have adequate funds for the contract deposit, failure to tender the balance of the purchase price, failure to participate in good faith with pre-closing contingencies, or willful default under the contract.

In a purchase and sale agreement, a commercial real estate lawyer will know, based on experience and standard practice, what’s reasonable to ask for, what’s reasonable to insist upon, and what’s not open for negotiation, for the benefit of his client.

Landlord/tenant disputes

A commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY should explain to the lessee the provisions of the lease contract, especially when it’s long and written in legal jargon. These include provisions on good guy guarantees, real estate tax escalation, and sublet and assignment clauses. When representing the lessee, the lawyer should negotiate for the most flexible good guy guaranty in order to protect his client’s assets. Good guy guarantees require owners of limited liability companies who don’t have a long financial track record to be personally liable for rental payments and other obligations. When needed, the commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY should be ready to file a “Yellowstone” injunction, which allows a commercial tenant to enjoin the landlord from evicting him for an alleged breach of the lease.

When representing landlords, the commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY should structure leases, taking into consideration the landlord’s objective of getting a rent-paying tenant without an extensive negotiation of contracts. The lawyer will assist in cases of lessee’s nonpayment, holdover beyond the period of the lease, and breaches of lease involving a wide variety of claims. With the cooperatives and condominiums, the commercial real estate lawyer can also protect the landlord’s rights in case of faulty construction and misrepresentations in offering plans.

Real estate dispute litigation

The commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY may also represent his client in real estate dispute litigation, arbitration, and administrative hearings. Common types of real estate litigation include the enforcement of purchase agreements, non-disclosure of defects, actions to quiet title, easement disputes, disputes with real estate agents and brokers, foreclosures, mechanic’s liens, and commercial lease disputes. Depending on which side he is on, the commercial real estate lawyer should be well-versed in the different causes of action, its elements, and the defenses available. Currently, there is a move towards arbitration and mediation, and the skilled lawyer represents his client in order to achieve a win-win solution for everyone and avoid protracted litigation.

Development of real Estate

The commercial real estate lawyer should be able to advise developers of mixed-use, residential, and commercial developments on the basics of getting a development project entitled, permitted, financed, and built. This includes a variety of topics such as operating, shareholder, and partnership agreements, LLC formation for real estate development, preparation of documents for mortgage-based lending, financial arrangements for raising capital, zoning, land use, and municipal matters, economic development incentives, tax-related matters including tax benefit programs, and construction issues.

If you are looking for a commercial real estate lawyer in New York, NY, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. We can be reached at 718-509-9774.