Legal Services You Can Rely On
We want to ensure you understand every step of your real estate transaction, whether you are buying for the first time or selling an investment property. With over 38 years of experience, Michael M. Walsh is well-versed in the area and can advise you as best as possible.
Real Estate Attorney Services
Each individual is entitled to representation by a real estate attorney who has extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate transaction process. We encourage you to come to our team to help you better understand the home buying and selling process. We will make sure you are making the best financial decisions and legal choices.
Buying A Home
Depending on the deal, the deposit amount may vary because it is determined by the type and amount of loan the buyer is securing. You should print two copies of your deposit check, so you have one for your records and one for your mortgage lender. Be sure to move the necessary funds into your account to clear the deposit check.
Offer & Acceptance
When there is a common term agreement, the contract is signed, and party obligations are defined. There may be contingencies for the seller or buyer that they must fulfill before closing, or the seller may be required to make modifications or repairs. Whatever the obligation, we ensure it is in writing and understood by both parties.
If the buyer is financing the home with a mortgage, there must be a mortgage commitment before closing for proof that the buyer can afford the house. A buyer is usually given around 45 days to secure the written mortgage commitment. Homeowner’s insurance is required to close also.
The price of the property, the loan amount, and the lender will determine the closing costs.
- Bank Fees (application fee, appraisal, credit report, flood certification, origination fee or points, bank attorney, underwriting, document preparation fee, post-closing review)
- Title Insurance (borrower pays for their policy and the lender’s policy)
- Mortgage Tax (1.8% less $30 for a 1 or 2 family dwelling up to $499,999.99 and 1.925% less $30 for a 1 or 2 family dwelling for mortgages $500,000.00 and over for 1 or 2 family dwelling)
- Recording Fees (based on the number of pages, vary according to county)
- Survey Fee (usually around $850)
- Real Estate Taxes
- Attorney Legal Fee
At closing, the buyer pays the purchase price balance, and the deed is delivered to the buyer. Transfer of the property is symbolized by the buyer receiving a copy of the deed when the title insurance company receives the original for the transfer to be recorded in the county recording office.
In the case of mortgage financing, the buyer will execute a note and a mortgage. The buyer will execute any other disclosure documents.
Selling A Home
If there are any defects in the house, the seller should disclose those to the buyer. As the seller, you must deliver an insured title at standard premiums and a Certificate of Occupancy. Within five days of closing or at closing, the property must be vacant and in broom-clean condition.
With residential property, the seller is required to pay the following:
- NY City Transfer Tax of 1% of the sale price up to $500,000.00 and 1.425% over $500,000.00
- NY State transfer tax of $2.00 per $500.00 of consideration or .4% (hence the total transfer tax is either 1.4% up to $500,000.00 or 1.825% for transactions $500,001.00 and higher)
- Any mortgage liens or judgments would have to be satisfied, and the title company insuring the purchaser will typically charge a pickup fee ($200-$250)
- Recording fees for the satisfactions (based on the number of pages in the instrument); real estate broker (their fees are negotiated with the listing agent and can range from 3 to 6% of the sale price)
- Attorney legal fee and any disbursements
Wills & Estates
At Michael M. Walsh Attorney at Law, we are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to assist with a last will and testament, health care proxy, living will, power of attorney, and more.
If the seller and I can’t agree to terms, do I get reimbursed for my expenses?
What does “on or about” mean?
What does “as is” mean?
What is a survey?
Do I need a new survey?
Relying on an old survey could result in discovering (after closing) that the fence on the survey that you thought was on your property was actually on the property next door or replaced after the survey was drawn.
If I don’t get approved for my loan, do I get my deposit back?
What does escrow mean?
Is money held in escrow to guarantee there are no problems with the house after closing?
What is property condition disclosure credit (PCDC)?
Giving the credit does not insulate the seller from a post-closing lawsuit but merely puts the parties on an even footing should the buyer commence a lawsuit.
The total bill that enacted the PCDC can be viewed at https://assembly.state.ny.us/leg and enter bill # S05339.
For a copy of the PCDC form, go to http:/www.dos.state.ny.us/lcns/licensing.html#disclosure and click on “Property Condition Disclosure Statement”
Do I need a permit for a deck?
While the existence of these illegal additions generally will not impede closing, a buyer must understand that once they close, the house as altered is their responsibility. They should also be aware that specific illegal improvements could affect or void their homeowner’s insurance coverage in the event of a loss or claim. The problem is many alterations or additions are incapable of being legalized, so a buyer should be sure to disclose the existence of any such issues to their attorney. This way, we can insert language into the contract that would allow the buyer to cancel the contract and receive a refund of the contract deposit should the lender object to the alteration or addition.
How do I find out what the real estate taxes are?
What is a certificate of occupancy (C of O)?
What is title insurance?
The premiums for title insurance are regulated by the New York Board of Title Underwriters and are the same regardless of the title insurance company your attorney uses. The premium is a one-time payment, and there is no future bill received for the insurance. The buyer pays for both policies at closing, and they stay in effect until there is a transfer of title or the mortgage is paid off. You can determine the cost of the title insurance premiums for your transaction using the First American Title Insurance Company calculator. Title agencies also collect the fees for deed and mortgage recording (based on the number of pages and vary from County to County), municipal searches, and service fees that change from company to company. Be sure to receive a written estimate of your title and related closing costs from your attorney before signing your contract.
What is the difference between a mortgage broker and a bank?
A bank processes your loan application and advises the buyer/borrower on the bank’s different loan programs. The bank issues a mortgage commitment directly to the buyer/borrower.
What is a mortgage commitment?
The loan will be either a fixed-rate loan or an adjustable rate, which means the rate can change at predetermined times and with predetermined increases. Adjustable loans carry a risk that the rate can go up and are usually based on a published index plus a predetermined percentage. Commitments typically expire 30, 60, or 90 days from either the date of application or the issuance. It depends on the lender and sometimes on the loan program.
Should I get a house inspection?
The inspection is typically done pre-contract after the buyer’s offer is accepted. While the inspection is not intended to serve as a bargaining or negotiating tool, if the inspection discloses a condition that the buyer did not consider when making their offer, they may want to consult with their real estate professional and modify their proposal.
If I am selling my house, what does my lawyer need from me to represent me?
If you paid off your mortgage and received satisfaction from your lender’s mortgage but did not record it, you should provide your attorney with the original so that it can be recorded. If any of the owners have died, you should provide your attorney with original death certificates. If you are divorced, and your judgment of divorce dictates the terms of the property’s sale, you should give your attorney a copy of the judgment.
If you are in a divorce proceeding, you should advise your attorney of your attorney and your spouse’s attorney’s name, address, telephone number, and email address. You should also inform your attorney of any alterations or additions done to the premises either by you or a prior owner. If you live outside of NY and are selling property located within New York State, you should provide your attorney with a form IT2663. Your accountant prepares the form if the property is not exempt from the payment of estimated capital gains tax.
What is an “HOA”?
Some HOA’s are also PUD’s or Planned Unit Developments, which, simply put, are HOA’s that also have some shared amenity like a playground, common parking area, or a pool. Your attorney can tell you if the property is subject to an HOA declaration and monthly fee. Some sellers are not even aware that their properties are subject to an HOA declaration because many are “inactive”. This can present some problems in a transaction, so it is important to speak to your attorney about this issue pre-contract.