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Does a Real Estate Attorney Represent the Buyer or the Seller?

Real estate agent and client shaking hands after signing a contract. Concept real estate business and home insurance.

Real estate transactions, whether for residential or commercial purposes, are some of the most consequential deals you are likely to enter into. If you are new to the process, you might be wondering whether it’s necessary, or even required to have a lawyer represent you. Does the answer depend on whether you are the buyer or the seller? These are important questions to consider when you are buying or selling a home or other piece of property in New York. To help you, we’ve attempted to address some of these key concerns below. If you need legal advice and representation in a real estate transaction in the Hudson Valley, call on the Law Office of Taran M. Provost in Poughkeepsie.

Who Does a Real Estate Attorney Represent?

In New York real estate transactions, an attorney can represent either the buyer or the seller, depending on the agreement between the parties involved. While the roles may vary slightly, the core responsibilities remain geared toward facilitating a fair and legal transaction. Here’s a brief overview of what each role typically involves:

Representation for the Buyer

  • Review of Sales Contract: Your attorney will go through the sales contract to ensure that your interests are protected.
  • Title Search: They will confirm that the property has a clean title, devoid of any liens or other issues that could affect ownership.
  • Negotiation: Any issues or disagreements that arise can usually be resolved through legal negotiation, keeping the process on track while ensuring you get a fair deal in the end.

Representation for the Seller

  • Contract Preparation: An attorney will prepare the sales contract and other essential documents.
  • Coordinate Closing: They ensure that all the paperwork is in place for the closing of the sale.
  • Legal Advice: Experienced real estate lawyers can answer your questions concerning any tax implications or other legal concerns related to the sale.

Can the Same Attorney Represent Both the Buyer and the Seller?

In New York, it is generally not advisable for the same attorney to represent both the buyer and the seller in a residential real estate transaction. Dual representation can lead to a conflict of interest, making it challenging to serve the best interests of both parties. Although New York law doesn’t outright prohibit this practice, it’s typically avoided to maintain the integrity of the transaction.

Is It Necessary to Have an Attorney When Buying or Selling Property?

While some states do not require the presence of an attorney during a real estate transaction, New York does. The state’s laws generally mandate the involvement of an attorney in residential real estate transactions. The rationale is to ensure that the legalities of the contract and the transfer of property are accurately executed, minimizing the risks for both buyers and sellers.

Why You Should Consider Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer as a Buyer or Seller

  1. Legal Expertise: Real estate laws can be intricate. An attorney can navigate these complexities for you.
  2. Risk Mitigation: Lawyers can identify and solve problems before they escalate, potentially saving you time and money.
  3. Peace of Mind: Knowing that a professional is handling the legal aspects can make the stressful process of buying or selling property a bit easier to manage.

Experienced Legal Help With Real Estate Purchases and Sales in the Hudson Valley

Whether you are a buyer or a seller in a residential or commercial real estate transaction in New York, it’s important to have an attorney represent your interests. Given the complexity and legal requirements involved, professional guidance can be invaluable. The Law Office of Taran M. Provost is committed to serving clients in the Hudson Valley with their real estate needs. Feel free to reach out to us for tailored advice and representation. Call 845-675-3243 to share your concerns and chart a path to meet your goals.

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