Buying And Selling Overview: The Anatomy Of A Real Estate Transaction

Buying and selling real estate can often be a confusing and difficult-to-navigate process, particularly if you are a first-time homebuyer. In most cases, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced real estate attorney in order to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. In fact, for New Yorkers, hiring an attorney is common and a necessary part of any residential real estate transaction.

Since even the smallest mistake during a real estate transaction can create costly problems down the road, you need a knowledgeable lawyer by your side - you need the Law Office of Phil Napolitano.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, attorney Phil Napolitano will use his 20 years of legal experience to personally guide you through the real estate process. We have seen it all when it come to New York real estate, so contact us today and schedule your free initial consultation. You can reach us online or call our Bronx office at 718-414-6175. Se habla español. We have bilingual staff on hand.

Real Estate Process: The Basics

While every real estate transaction is different, most deals involve many of the same common steps, including:

  • Purchase offer/agreement: Once a potential buyer finds a home he or she wishes to buy, the first step is make an offer on the house. This may or may not be done in writing and is often done with the assistance of licensed real estate agents/brokers. Most purchase offers contain various contingencies, meaning the buyers can get out of the agreement if certain conditions are not met, such as the house failing an inspection. At this time, the buyer and seller may also negotiate the terms of the sale, including the price and closing date.
  • Inspection: After an offer is accepted, many buyers elect to conduct a professional inspection of the home. As mentioned above, if the inspection reveals significant issues, the buyer may have the option of walking away from the deal. Once the buyer is fully satisfied with the condition of the home, the parties will enter into an official contract.
  • Contract signing: A real estate contract is a complex legal document and should never be signed without the representation of an attorney. Upon signing the contract the buyer will tender a down payment which will typically be held in escrow by the seller's lawyer.
  • Mortgage approval: If the buyer is getting bank lender financing, he or she will need to apply for a mortgage. It is crucial to complete this step in a timely manner as it can take a month or more to get lender approval. The buyer should always provide the lender with all required documentation and information, especially since he or she does not want to jeopardize the deal by failing to get financing in time.
  • Title search: A title search is typically done on the property during the mortgage application process, which is necessary to ensure there are no existing liens on the property or defects in the title. All seller liens should be addressed and cleared up before closing. Even if the buyer is not using bank financing, he or she must still conduct a title search, which the Law Office of Phil Napolitano can assist with. Once the title is clear and the lender approves financing, a closing is scheduled.
  • Walkthrough: A day or so prior to closing, the buyer will want to do a final walkthrough of the property to make sure it is still in the same condition it was the last time he or she saw it. He or she will also want to make sure the seller completed any agreed upon fixes/repairs.
  • Closing: At the closing, the buyer and seller will sign and receive all final closing paperwork, including the title and all loan documents. While all of these documents may seem daunting, attorney Phil Napolitano will carefully explain each. Be prepared to also pay what is owed at the closing, including closing costs and any balance of the down payment.

Whether you are buying or selling, the Law Office of Phil Napolitano will guide you from start to finish and explain what you can expect, both procedurally and financially. We can help draft, review and execute all relevant agreements. Even if you have already made or accepted an offer, it is not too late to contact us. We can even assist with foreclosures and short sales.