** This article has been revised from its original version which was published on December…
Vincent was recently interviewed by LongIslandForSale.com. Check out the article: What You Should Know About the Home Closing Process on Long Island For Sale, one of the top sites for Long Island NY real estate, including Bayside, NY homes for sale. Long Island For Sale also services North Carolina homes for sale and Georgia homes for sale.
Tell us a little bit about your experience, firm’s history and the areas of law that you practice.
Vincent J. Russo & Associates, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of professionalism, personalized attention and expertise in Real Estate, Elder Law, Special Needs, Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, Tax Guardianship and Medicaid. We have offices in Westbury, Islandia, Lido Beach, Manhattan and Patchogue, New York.
We represent clients in all aspects of real estate sales and acquisitions, including private single family and multi-family homes, commercial properties, condominiums, cooperative apartments and leasing. This also includes the purchase and sale of properties form trusts and estates.
Personally, I am the Managing Shareholder of Vincent J. Russo & Associates, P.C. since 1985. I am a founding member of the National Academy of Elder law Attorneys (NAELA) and the past chair of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). I was an at-large delegate at the White House 2005 conference on aging and co-authored the “book” on how to practice elder law and special needs in New York.
What’s the role of an attorney in home closings in Long Island?
An experienced real estate attorney will guide and protect you through the entire real estate transaction. This includes negotiating the purchase/sale contract in order to obtain favorable terms on your behalf (i.e., contingency clauses, walk away rights, mortgage provisions, etc.) Be mindful that the entire transaction stems from the contract so it must be well written and strongly protect your interest.
The attorney will review and oversee the removal of any liens, encumbrances, encroachments on the property. The attorney will review and explain any easements, zoning or use restrictions on the property which may have a significant impact on one’s decision to purchase. Problem inevitably show up in the title report, which is the basis for purchasers title insurance policy, therefore it is very important that they are handled properly.
Another major role of a real estate attorney is to represent the client at the time of closing. The attorney will calculate any and all adjustments (taxes, exemptions, payoffs, walkthrough issues) and make sure the fees are an accurate representation of the transaction.
Can you list the basic steps in the home closing process?
- Seller accepts buyer’s offer on the property
- Engineers inspection on the property
- Contract is negotiated and signed
- Purchaser works to obtaining mortgage commitment, if applicable
- Financial clearance, including an appraisal of the property
- Legal clearance, including a survey of the property
- Seller clears any and all title exceptions
- Walkthrough of the property
- Pre-closing preparations:
- Calculation of financials
- Preparation of deed and ancillary transfer forms
Is there a common misunderstanding that you’ve noticed potential sellers and buyers have about the process?
One common misunderstanding is the expectation of a time-frame for a ‘quick’ closing. When a lender is involved, it commonly takes most home-buyers (as opposed to experienced contractors) at least a few weeks to obtain a mortgage commitment. The lender (typically banks) have to take the time to do their due diligence, and there is generally no reason for concern.
Another common mistake is relying on the promise of the opposing buyer/seller. For that promise to be binding, it must be reflected in the contract. This is another reason to have a well negotiated contract.
What is something about buying or selling a home in Long Island that most people aren’t aware of that they should know?
The real estate market is getting stronger and this is a great time to buy and sell.
What are one or two things that the seller can do to help make the home closing process easier?
First, hire a real estate attorney immediately upon placing your home on the market. This way, as soon as the Seller has an accepted offer, that attorney can send out the contracts immediately to lock the buyer in. Remember, the accepted offer is not binding until the parties have executed a contract.
Also, if a seller is living in the home being sold, start packing early. Packing and moving always takes longer than expected and has the potential to delay a closing.
What’s the best way for people to reach you and your firm?
You can reach me, or any of the attorneys on our team at Vincent J. Russo & Associates, P.C., by calling (516) 683-1717. Also, we have an informative website at vjrussolaw.com, along with our social media pages (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) On these site you can read our blogs (relating to real estate), or e-mail us with questions.
By Daniel Mayper – Guest Blogger