Real Estate Law FAQs

What type of real estate cases do you handle?

Our firm works primarily with buyers and sellers in both residential and commercial real estate. We can provide guidance and counseling on leases for commercial and retail cases. As part of our commitment to affordable housing in WNY, we also take on certain cases from the non-profit sector.

Why do people need a real estate attorney in New York State?

New York state is an “absolute attorney closing state”, which means an attorney is needed during all real estate sales. Each party should always be represented by their own licensed attorney at the closing, otherwise you run the risk of overlooking vital details of the contract. At a normal residential closing, there are usually 3 attorneys: the buyer’s attorney, the seller’s attorney, and the lender’s attorney. Each one is there to represent their own client’s best interests in the sale.

I have a real estate agent. Do I still need a real estate attorney to sell property?

The real estate agent and the attorney perform entirely different services for you. The agent represents you as the owner of the property, helping you market the property to prospective buyers and securing the best price for it. An agent will also guide you through the process of preparing your home for sale.

In some states, real estate agents handle these transactions from start to finish. In New York, only the buyer, seller, or their attorney can draw up closing documents, draft contracts, and provide legal counsel. Unless you’re an attorney yourself, you should consult with a trusted source of legal expertise before closing.

Because your real estate agent cannot draft contracts, an experienced attorney is needed to properly prepare documents and provide legal security. The more robust the strength of your closing documents and contracts are, the less you are exposed to vulnerabilities as your transaction progresses.

Do I need a real estate attorney to buy a house?

Because residential seller representation is necessary in New York, many cases require residential buyer representation as well. Equal legal representation ensures that all parties have expert oversight in their transaction. Some financial institutions will not approve your mortgage unless you have retained the services of a lawyer.

In addition to ensuring that your closing documents honor the terms you agreed on, an attorney can also perform due diligence. They will investigate all aspects of your transaction, from property assessments to financial valuations, to check that everything is in order.

Ready to work with us?

No matter where you are in the real estate process, call us to schedule a consultation and discuss your goals. After we’ve reviewed your situation, Daria L. Pratcher will go to work for you and ensure that everything is taken care of – our firm is a one-stop shop for all your real estate law solutions. Get started today!