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Home sellers face myriad issues that only an attorney can help solve.


Before signing an agreement with a real estate broker, it is typically a good idea to consult with a real estate attorney before listing your property for sale. One of the reasons to consult an attorney before dealing with a real estate broker is to deal with some of the legal issues that may exist in real estate contracts. In some cases, sellers forfeit the right to negotiate on their own behalf, need to understand what the broker’s rights are, and understand the consequences of withdrawing the property from the market.


There are other issues which may occur during the real estate listing process including providing a marketable title, establishing the value of the property, and understanding what an “exclusive listing” is and how it impacts your ability to sell your home.



When you sell a home, especially if you anticipate a large profit, you may wish to seek the advice of a skilled real estate attorney before deciding to sell. Keep in mind, the income tax consequences of a real estate sale can be significant.



Some of the issues that can occur between buyers and sellers can be resolved simply, such as the dates of closing or move-in. There are other issues, however, that must be negotiated in order to avoid disputes including inspections, the personal property that might be included in the sale of the home, verifying the condition of the property through inspections, and preparing a written contract.



Sales contracts are crucial in addressing many issues that may occur during the sale of a property. For example, home inspections can reveal hidden problems such as termites, radon or lead-based paint. In most cases, working with an attorney can ensure these issues are addressed before they create problems.



One of the typical caveats in a real estate contract is the disposition of down payments when a closing does not take place or when a buyer is unable to secure financing. In general, an attorney will hold down payments in escrow, and in the event a buyer is unable to secure financing, the down payment is returned in full. However, it is not uncommon for there to be a penalty written into a purchase and sale agreement in the event a buyer simply changes his or her mind.



Because New York does not always require title insurance, it is imperative to ensure the title is acceptable to the buyer. This means an attorney must review the status of the title including such items as legal descriptions, issues that may be left over from prior owners, easements that may be on the property, and any other legal restrictions that could impair your ability to sell the property.



It is typical to have a survey of a property that is up for sale. However, you may be surprised to discover that a neighbor has constructed a fence or poured a new driveway that encroaches on your property. Depending on the situation, this could create issues with closing.



During the closing of a property, the deed and other paperwork must be prepared for both buyer and seller. Closing statements must be prepared indicating all debits and credits for both buyer and seller. A skilled real estate attorney can explain all closing costs, prepare all final documents and ensure that all appropriate documents are thoroughly explained and properly signed.


At Solomon Richman, P.C. we have the skills and experience necessary to ensure the sale of your home is completed as efficiently as possible. If you are considering selling your home, call us today at (516) 437-6443 and speak with one of our experienced real estate attorneys.

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