Buying a property, whether a condo, brownstone or home, in the New York City area is a very expensive endeavor. The average home cost in Manhattan is 1.3 million. While you won’t need that kind of money to buy a home in the Bronx, you still can expect to pay between $400,000 and $600,000.

With that much money on the line, 99% of New Yorkers use a real estate attorney during their homebuying or selling process. While the law doesn’t require using a real estate attorney, it does give a property buyer some advantages.

These include the following:

  1. A real estate attorney can write the conditions of the purchase agreement, to ensure it represents your interests well and states any conditions for the sale clearly. If you don’t use an attorney, the sellers may use their own attorney to write the contract for sale. As a result, the contract likely will represent their interests better than your own.
  2. A real estate attorney can review the final contract to scrutinize the deal for any legal or financial risks. You want to minimize your risks as much as possible when making a large purchase like this. Using a real estate attorney is the best way to ensure that.
  3. Your mortgage lender may require you to have legal representation as part of the process.
  4. Your real estate attorney can do a title search on the property, to ensure the property has a clear title. Some homes may have title problems, where an heir unexpectedly claims ownership of the home or a seller doesn’t disclose or realize there’s an additional lien on the property. Or the property could be a part of a past-due child support or spousal support dispute.
  5. Your real estate attorney can advise you during the closing process, making sure you understand all the documents you are signing.

Using a real estate attorney will give you further peace of mind that you are making good decisions when buying a home. Then, all you will have to worry about is moving day.