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One of the most commonly misconstrued topics around buying an apartment in Manhattan is knowing when it’s a good time to introduce a real estate attorney in the process. The short answer: at any time. However, there is more opportunity when planning ahead with a legal professional.
Ideally, you should have a real estate attorney lined up prior to having submitted an offer. Doing so will allow the seller’s lawyer to work out the offer details with yours. This act may also demonstrate seriousness on your part to the seller. If you are a procrastinator or busy-body, you might work with a lawyer after having accepted a deal. At this phase, it’s necessary to work quickly and hire a skilled real estate attorney for your apartment purchase in Manhattan.
First off, you have a lifeline. Your real estate attorney should be responsive to your telephone calls or e-mails. Some attorneys have made it an internal policy to respond to all calls within a 24-hour period at the very latest.
After signing your contract, your attorney will work with your mortgage broker and bank to make sure you get a loan commitment in writing before proceeding any further, as well as assist you in cleaning up conditions and requirements of the loan.
When purchasing an apartment, your attorney will purchase and evaluate the title report. If you are acquiring a co-op, your attorney will buy and review the lien search to make sure that you are buying it free and clear.
Your attorney will also appear at the closing with you, the seller, broker, the bank, and title company. He or she will also notify you of your closing costs and location of the closing. At this point, it is also a good idea to visit the unit one more time to ensure that it is still in the same condition you last saw it. The broker can help you verify that the appliances, electric, and plumbing works, as well.
If there is an issue contact your attorney so that it can be dealt with prior to closing. At the closing, your attorney will review and explain the closing process and documents that you are signing.