What You Should Know If You Need a Real Estate Lawyer in NYC When Buying or Selling a Home

Real estate is a crucial component of the New York City economy. The average sales price of a single-family house increased by 29.9 percent in 2 years. That means that there is a lot at stake in real estate transactions around New York City.

If you want to buy or sell a house or property in NYC or the surrounding areas soon, you should consult with an experienced New York residential real estate lawyer.

Likewise, if you are looking at an international sale or purchase, a competent NYC real estate lawyer can also assist with that. Availing the services of a real estate attorney in New York can safeguard your rights, make the process smoother by ensuring that all contracts and paperwork satisfy legal standards, and detect any possible difficulties with the deal to avoid future legal hassles.

Difference of Roles in the Real Estate Transactions and Legalization

You don’t get to purchase a house every day. It is a significant life decision that must be carefully considered.

When purchasing a home, making a hasty choice is an expensive error that you do not want to make. Many first-time homebuyers should seek the assistance of competent real estate experts who can guide them through the complex world of real estate. But, it is essential to first learn about the differences of roles playing in this field.

Roles of Real Estate Agent (vs. Broker vs. Realtor)

Real estate agents are licensed to help customers purchase, sell, or rent real estate. They are ultimately responsible for connecting buyers and sellers. They are rewarded with a commission; frequently, a percentage of the property’s sale price is awarded as a commission. 

Real estate agents may also be referred to as real estate salespeople or real estate associates.

Becoming a licensed real estate agent varies by state (a federal license is not required). This means to practice in NSW you are required to complete a real estate license course in NSW but if you expand or move interstate you’ll need to get a new license specific to that state.

Agents are doing the transporting offers and counteroffers between parties. An agent will collaborate with another agent to guide customers through the documentation process when an offer is accepted.

Agents also make sure that their customers are well aware of any criteria for sale, such as house inspections, relocating, and significant dates such as the closing.

Real Estate Brokers

A real estate broker is an agent pursuing further education and obtaining a state real estate broker license. Unlike real estate agents, brokers can operate independently, form their firms, and recruit other real estate agents.

There are three levels of this role. The first is Associate brokers. They are brokers who possess broker licenses but work under the supervision of another broker. In general, associate brokers do not supervise other agents.

On the other hand, managing brokers manage transactions and the office’s day-to-day activities. They also hire agents, train new hires, and manage administrative staff.

Lastly, Principal/designated brokers watch real estate agents verify they abide by state and federal real estate regulations.

Real Estate Realtors

A Realtor is a part of the National Organisation of Realtors (NAR), the country’s largest trade association. Although the phrases “Realtor” and “real estate agent” are commonly used interchangeably, the designation is open to a wide range of real estate professions, including:

  • Residential and commercial real estate brokers
  • Salespeople
  • Real estate managers
  • Appraisers

Roles of Real Estate Attorney

On the other hand, a real estate attorney will walk you through the legal maze in home buying. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to real estate legislation. 

The regulations that govern real estate differ significantly from one state to the next. A real estate lawyer can help you understand and adhere to your state’s laws. Only a real estate attorney is permitted in many areas to prepare property purchase agreements, conduct title searches, and execute deals.

Your attorney will draft the contract of sale based on the term sheet supplied by your agent and interactions with you and your agent. Most sellers’ attorneys begin with a standardized form and then add a rider with extra stipulations to discuss with the purchasers.

Once the attorneys have finished the contract, you and the purchasers will sign it, and the buyers will deposit a downpayment to your attorney (similar to what is known as “earnest money” in other jurisdictions). 

They risk losing this money if they leave the arrangement for any reason other than those specified in the contract. In New York State, the downpayment is typically 10% of the purchase price, which your attorney will place into an escrow account.


If you buy a condo in New York, for example, you must examine more than just contract law. 

You’llYou’ll need an attorney who is familiar with condo association rules and regulations, as well as the laws that regulate them. 

In another case, you may believe you are buying a home free and clear of any liens or claims since the seller did not reveal this information, only to find later in the transaction that the property has an ongoing mortgage. 

The only way to thoroughly choose the correct attorney is to meet with them in person to discuss the services they offer and go over the facts of your case. A New York Real Estate lawyers should be:

  • Experienced in real estate law with a track record of success
  • Willing to answer your questions and clarify any legal jargon that may be confusing you in a way that you completely comprehend
  • Shall be committed to communicating your case status frequently, including responding to your calls and emails as soon as possible.
  • Prepared to give references from previous clients successfully represented
  • Ready to confess if your case falls outside of their area of expertise and provide references to other attorneys who may be able to help you, such as foreclosure defense or bankruptcy law professionals.

A lawyer can defend you in this issue and assist you in reaching a quick conclusion. So make sure to hire one when buying or selling a house. 

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