Suffolk County Residential Real Estate Attorneys
Experienced Lawyers to Guide You Through Your Residential Transaction
The Law Offices of Michael Catalanotto can provide informed and personalized legal assistance on your residential real estate transaction, whether you are dealing with a buy-sell agreement or a real estate closing. Buying a home is an exciting new stage in your life, but it can also feel daunting and overwhelming. Our firm can help draft your buy-sell agreement and examine the fine print of your transaction to make sure everything meets your interests. We will work one-on-one with you every step of the way and provide the informed guidance you need to close on your new residence.
Some of the residential real estate matters we handle include:
- Purchase and sale agreements
- Transfer of property
- Real estate closings
- Title claims and title insurance
Contact The Law Offices of Michael Catalanotto for a free consultation to discuss your residential real estate transaction in more detail. Assisting clients in Suffolk and Nassau Counties.
Purchase and Sale Agreements
A purchase and sale agreement is a legal contract that lays out the responsibilities of the buyer and the seller during the real estate transaction. Purchase and sale agreements should establish the following terms and conditions:
- The purchase price. This is the amount that the buyer and seller both agree to for the purchase of the property.
- The “earnest money” deposit. This is the amount of the initial deposit and how it will be paid.
- The title condition. This requires that the seller provide the buyer with a clear or marketable title of ownership.
- The title insurance. The contract should also include information about the title insurance company, which the buyer has the right to choose.
- The closing date. This is the date that the real estate transaction will be completed – that is, the date the transfer of property will be finalized and recorded, and the seller paid.
Depending on the condition of the property, the agreement may also contain additional conditions (called “contingencies”) that must be satisfied for the purchase to be completed, such as a home inspection, financing, and appraisal.
Purchase and sale agreements need to align with local and state laws, so it is best to work with an experienced residential real estate lawyer on the drafting of your agreement, whether you are the seller or the buyer. It is also advisable to have an attorney on your transaction so the closing process (below) follows more smoothly and the necessary steps like depositing into an escrow account are being handled by an experienced professional.
The final step of a real estate transaction is the closing process, after which the property will be officially owned by the buyer. The closing process can take weeks to months, depending on the conditions of the property and the needs of the parties. Typically, closing on a house will include the following steps:
- Arranging an escrow account. This is where the buyer will deposit their “earnest money.” The main idea of an escrow account is to provide proof and peace of mind for the seller that the buyer has the funds to commit to the purchase.
- Scheduling a home and pest inspection. This is for the buyer to ensure the property is in adequate condition for their purchase. If repairs or pest elimination services are needed, the buyer can renegotiate the purchase price or request payment from the seller to provide these services.
- Obtaining certifications and documents. Some property owners may be required to provide certification for things like well testing, flood search, or buried oil tanks.
- Conducting title search and insurance. Title search is to ensure that the seller’s title is free and clear of liens, tax liability, unpaid bills, etc. The buyer may also need to obtain title insurance to protect against losses that arise from title concerns.
- Applying for a mortgage. This is required if the buyer is financing the acquisition and can begin at any stage in the purchase and closing process. Buyers can discuss interest rate locks during the application process.
- Doing a final walkthrough. Right before the signing, the residence will be inspected once more to ensure that everything is as the purchase and sale agreement says.
- Signing and finalizing. The buyer will need to sign a number of documents, including settlement and loan documents. After the last signing, the deed will be recorded.
Do not be intimidated by the many steps and complex descriptions above; an experienced residential real estate lawyer like those at our firm can help you navigate this process smoothly and efficiently. Before you know it, you’ll have your home in your hands.
Our firm also helps clients navigate property line and fencing disputes, which are more common in New York than one might think. New York’s boundary and fencing laws for neighboring residents include:
- adjoining landowners must make and maintain a just and equitable portion of division fence unless both agree for lands to lie open;
- homeowners who erect fences or fence-like structures more than 10 feet high to exclude neighbors from the enjoyment of light or air may be sued for “private nuisance”;
- homeowners must repair fences destroyed by flood or other casualties within 10 days of receiving a request to repair;
- neighbors may trim branches extending onto their property but may not cut down or damage a tree on their neighbor's land.
For more specific legal guidance on your unique residential real estate concerns, whether regarding a residential transaction or boundary disputes with a neighbor, contact The Law Offices of Michael Catalanotto today.
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