How To Find The Best Real Estate Attorney In Brooklyn

So you’re ready to start looking for a real estate attorney, but how to go about it?

Your best bet would of course be an attorney experienced with real estate transactions or one that specializes in real estate. You may see discount “flat fee” attorneys out there, with rates as low as $750, but real estate experts warn against these bargain buys, who might be making their real money off sneaky title insurance commissions.

As always in NYC, location matters. Though you might be tempted by a Hudson Valley lawyer charging a lower fee, it is important to find a lawyer with experience in New York City transactions.

As you most likely know, the NYC real estate scene is unique, and it’s good to have someone who can catch a seller’s curveball(s).  For example, most properties in NYC are either coops or condos, so you’ll want to make sure your lawyer has negotiated a condo contract or a coop real estate contract in NYC before.

And if you’re buying a coop, make sure they have familiarity with sublease agreements, in case you want to leave in August like everyone else, and make back some of your mortgage payments.

How To Find A Good Real Estate Attorney?

As with most things real estate: starting early is the name of the game.  This means you should ideally start your search for a real estate attorney at the same time you start looking for your home.  You need time to do research and find a good attorney.

Another option is to work with an attorney you’re already comfortable with; ask them if they do real estate law, or if they have any trusted colleagues who do.  If you don’t already have an attorney you’re comfortable with, you might ask your real estate agent, your friends and colleagues (or even Facebook) for real estate lawyer recommendations.

Another route is to contact the NY bar association for a list of attorneys specializing in real estate. This will ensure the attorney is properly licensed.

What to do once you’ve found a real estate attorney you’re leaning toward? Schedule a consultation and ask the important questions (see below).  At this meeting you’ll most likely not receive specific advice relevant to your transaction, but instead an overview of the steps your lawyer will take.  You may also want to do some background research on the NY State Courts website to ensure any lawyers you’re considering haven’t been subject to disciplinary action.

What Kinds Of Questions Should You Ask Before Hiring?

Ask what percentage of their practice is devoted to real estate transactions to get a more accurate snapshot of their real estate experience. They might claim to have knowledge of real estate law, but if this knowledge has never been put into practice, it won’t help you much.

Of course, you’ll be inclined to ask about their fee and what it includes. According to real estate experts, there is no standard fee. The fee can range from property to property, and fluctuate depending on a number of factors, namely the complexity of the transaction.  The fee can also either be a flat rate or time-based.

Also, because you can find standard forms online, it might be a good idea to ask your attorney what they offer beyond what is readily available.  If they’re simply filling in the blanks on standard forms, they may not be much help to you, as for sale by owner sales aren’t standard transactions or even transactions in some cases.

Ask your attorney what issues might arise before closing.  This might include disputes over repairs, or the resolution of title issues and appraisal issues.  Your attorney should be able to review the contract and make suggestions to protect you and make the process easier. Check to make sure you’re meeting the lawyer who will be doing all of your casework.  Some law firms use juniors or paralegals to complete some of the work, so, during your consultation, ask to be introduced to anyone else who will handle the contract, and make sure you’re comfortable with the person before proceeding.

Once you have found a great lawyer, make sure to provide them with all of the documents related to your real estate transaction straight away—this will give them more time to become familiar with the case.  After they’re well versed in the case, let them advise you on legal matters—this is what you’re paying them for! They are there to help you get the best possible outcome in your housing purchase.

Fisher Stone Small Business & Real Estate Lawyers Of Brooklyn, P.C. 88 Suydam St, Suite A, Brooklyn, NY 11221 (718) 285-9404


Spend On Legal For Brooklyn Real Estate Now, Save A Lot Later

Ideally, a property lawyer will do much more than just show up for the contract signing.  Your attorney should do his/her due diligence, negotiate the deal for fairness and represent the buyer at the contract closing.

To be more specific, typical services performed by a BAR certified real estate lawyer include:

  1.  Reviewing the contract
  2.  Loan and title commitments
  3.  Searching for liens
  4.  Verifying that charges are correct and fair
  5.  Attending the closing
  6.  Handling title and closing documents
  7.  Confirming the title company completed its job after closing and addressing any of the buyer’s questions and concerns.

Before the closing, your attorney should also review several years worth of the co-op or condo's board meeting minutes. These minutes will provide information about ongoing and potentially expensive problems in the building.

If, for example, the building has a bed bug infestation, or a leaky roof, you may be faced with both inconvenience and a bill down the road.

Your Brooklyn Real-Estate attorney should also review financial statements and your offering plan, which will include details like bylaws and special risks of the project.

In an older building, these documents can include other information a buyer should be aware of.  For example, if the seller plans to construct nearby buildings in the future that would lead to the obstruction of windows.

Some of the closing costs your attorney may discuss with you are the NYC mansion tax and NY transfer taxes.

Can a Property Lawyer Get You a Better Deal Overall?

Generally, the price of the property is set by the real estate agent or negotiated between the seller’s and buyer’s agents, but the attorney can investigate whether this price and all other charges are justified.

For instance, if the unit is listed as two-bedroom but your lawyer determines one of the bedrooms doesn’t meet legal requirements, that could mean a price cut—and a reason to be thankful for your attorney

Fisher Stone Small Business & Real Estate Lawyers Of Brooklyn, P.C. 88 Suydam St, Suite A, Brooklyn, NY 11221 (718) 285-9404


5 Reasons to Invest In Real Estate in Brooklyn

brooklyn real estate

Brooklyn holds unlimited opportunities to make money with real estate investments. Property prices are increasing and in the upcoming years values are expected to continue to rise. Here are the top 5 reasons to invest in real estate in brooklyn

1. It’s a Tangible Asset

It is important to have tangible assets as part of your investment portfolio. And real estate is the perfect tangible asset. Unlike stocks and bonds, real estate is something that you physically have control over and can make physical changes like upgrades or renovations. 

2. Real Estate Values Usually Appreciate

Over time real estate values almost always appreciate. In the short term prices might fluctuate and during recessions prices might even drop by a lot. But this does not mean if you hold onto the property for the medium to long term then you have more of a probability to benefit from the appreciated value.

3. You Can Leverage Your Equity

As your property prices increase and as you renovate and upgrade your property you will be able to leverage your equity. Equity is different from the value of your property and it is not necessary to sell your property to have access to some of its equity. You can use your property’s equity to invest in other properties or to renovate your own. Before you use your equity it is important to consult with a local Brooklyn real estate lawyer to help find the most cost effective solutions.

4. Real Estate Provides Cash Flow

Cash flow is a perfect solution for those looking to start generating money from your property in the short term. When you are choosing your investment property multi unit residential buildings and corporate offices are great because the tenants are paying rent every money. Cash flow is the money that comes int from the rental payments from your property.

5. Retirement

Retirement is something that must be planned for years in advance. Aside from 401ks. IRAs, pensions and social security, there are other ways to plan for financial independence during your retirement. Whether you have cash flow property or property where you are relying on the appreciation, investment property is an excellent way to help secure your retirement. When you have money coming in every month it will provide you with lots of options and if you sell it you can use that money freely during your retirement years.

Get a free consultation today in Brooklyn at Fisher Stone, an award winning real estate law firm!

Fisher Stone Small Business & Real Estate Lawyers Of Brooklyn, P.C. 88 Suydam St, Suite A, Brooklyn, NY 11221 (718) 285-9404

Land Use Zoning Disputes in NY: What You Need to Know

property in brooklen

What is a Land Use Zoning Dispute?

A land-use zoning dispute is a disagreement between two parties or more on the appropriate zoning of a piece of land.

A zoning dispute may arise when one party feels that the zone in which the property is located does not meet its needs, or when one party feels that another party has violated a zoning ordinance.

There are many different types of disputes that can arise from zoning issues. Some include:

Common Causes of Land Use Zoning Disputes

Land-use zoning disputes are a common occurrence in Brooklyn, NY. The most common causes of these disputes are conflicts over land use, changes to zoning ordinances, and disagreements over property rights.

Land-use zoning disputes can be caused by many different things. One of the most common causes is a conflict over land use. This can happen when someone wants to build a new structure on their property but the city says they cannot because it violates the current zoning ordinance. Another cause is disagreements over property rights. This can happen when one person wants to do something with their private land that another person opposes because it will affect them negatively in some way (e.g., blocking sunlight or views).

But some other common causes include:

Can You Settle Your Own Land Use Zoning Dispute?

If you want to know how to settle your own land-use disagreement, the most important thing is to be aware of the consequences of your actions. If you are not sure how to go about this, then it is possible that you will end up with a court order that will make it difficult for you to sell your property in the future. That is why consulting with a Brooklyn property attorney is the safest course of action.

There are many different ways in which you can go about settling your own land-use disagreement. It might be as simple as agreeing on a price and signing an agreement. Or, if there are significant differences in opinion, then it might take more time and effort to come up with a solution that both parties can agree on.

Get a free consultation in NY regarding zoning for a residential or commercial property today!

Fisher Stone Small Business & Real Estate Lawyers Of Brooklyn, P.C. 88 Suydam St, Suite A, Brooklyn, NY 11221 (718) 285-9404