If you’ve purchased a house for your own personal home before, it may not seem like a real estate lawyer is a necessity. But there are dozens of other situations and processes, including some surrounding the purchase or sale of a house, that are much more complicated and require the service and expertise of an attorney.

If you are involved in any of the below real estate situations, you should consider hiring a real estate lawyer who will be able to look at the details of the case to ensure that the outcome is what you expect. At The Law Office of Diron Rutty, we have been providing legal advice and guidance to clients in the Bronx, the greater New York City area, and Poughkeepsie since 1995. Our dedicated team fully understands real estate law and the many intricacies of the industry. With our attorneys on your side, you can have confidence and peace of mind whatever your situation may be.

Reasons You Need a Real Estate Lawyer

You’re Buying a Commercial Property

The process of buying a commercial property, whether it’s a condo, an office, or a medical facility, can be incredibly complicated and there are several aspects of this category that would benefit from having the guidance of a real estate lawyer.

  • Financing: Finding the right bank, navigating the application process, the paperwork, terms of the contract, and so much more can be handled with the help of an attorney. When the success of your career is riding on the smooth purchase of a commercial property, the experience from a lawyer can be invaluable.
  • The Contract: Not all real estate contracts are the same, and it’s incredibly important to fully understand the fine print of each contract — and there may be several. A real estate attorney will help prepare and review the details of the contract to ensure you understand every aspect.
  • Inspections: Nearly all real estate transactions involve getting an inspection of the property. An attorney will ensure that the inspector focuses on what matters and that no stone is left unturned. A thorough inspection is one layer of protection that offers several benefits, including preventing unexpected repairs and protecting the integrity of the deal.
  • Closing: The final closing is an essential part of the process, but can be tedious. A real estate lawyer can attend the closing on your behalf, saving you time and money, and providing peace of mind knowing that the deal is closed without any issues.

Title Issues

A record of everyone who has owned the property previously, there are several aspects of a property’s title that can get complicated.

  • You must purchase title insurance to protect the transaction and for the duration of when you own the property.
  • A title investigator will complete a title search to determine if there is a prior claim to the title. Common issues include a previous owner who failed to pay state or local taxes, mistakes or missing information in the deed, or undisclosed owners.
  • If there are any issues surrounding the title, such as an easement or taxes, these need to be resolved before the completion of the sale.

Having a real estate lawyer to navigate these processes will ensure that nothing is missing and that everything is done correctly and legally. These services will protect you from potentially significant costs down the road.

Unresolved Liens

There are several types of liens that could be placed against a property. One of the most common is a mechanic’s lien, which is placed against the property when a general contractor begins work to improve the property. The lien should be released when the renovation is complete, but can cause time-consuming issues when it’s not. Another common problem that can occur is when a lien is placed on the property for child support. The lien is a method of ensuring that child support is paid. In some cases, the child support will have been paid in full, but the lien was never removed. There are several methods for having a lien removed, which is often handled by the title company. With a real estate lawyer, the issues can be resolved with much less hassle on your part.

Taxes

Real estate investors must pay taxes on the property itself, on any income earned, and on capital gains, which is the profit earned when selling a property for more than what was paid for it. Selling an investment property can become complicated as well, which is when you pay any capital gains as well as any depreciation recapture. If you deduct the cost of buying the property or if you spend money on improving the property, those costs can also be deducted. However, when you sell the property, you will need to pay a percentage of the deductions you received back, this is known as depreciation recapture.

Property investors will spend a lot of money on taxes, but there is one method where investors can avoid paying taxes on capital gains and depreciation recapture — 1031 exchanges. If an investor were to sell a property and use the profit to purchase another property, the taxes can be deferred. It may sound fairly straight forward, but there are several rules and extenuating circumstances surrounding 1031 exchanges. Working with a real estate lawyer familiar with these situations will ensure that you actually qualify for 1031 exchanges, that all paperwork is filed correctly, and that, in general, all of your taxes are completed accurately.

Landlord/Tenant Issues

Any disagreement between landlord and tenant, when rent is past due and the landlord needs to pursue eviction, when tenants regularly cause problems with neighbors and/or the building or community, when rules are violated — the list of potential landlord/tenant issues is endless. It can go both ways as well, the tenant can pursue legal action toward something the landlord did or did not do just as easily as the landlord can pursue charges or claims toward the tenant. These situations should be taken seriously as they can have serious impacts on the success of your property. A real estate lawyer will help navigate various situations, explain the New York laws regarding the situation, and explain the rights of every party involved. Having a reliable and experienced attorney on your side can offer protection and guidance.

Foreclosure and Loan Modifications

In New York, there are thousands of homeowners who may be facing foreclosure due to various reasons. Financial struggles, in addition to possibly losing your home, are incredibly stressful and emotional situations to be in. With a loan modification, a real estate lawyer can provide legal advice and guidance to help change the terms of the original loan, potentially lowering monthly payments, and making it possible to avoid foreclosure. There are several options available, and the loan can be modified up to three times with an attorney who negotiates the terms of the new loan on your behalf. The loan modification process can be complicated and involves several steps, but a real estate lawyer will be there to fight for your rights throughout the entire process.

Whether you’re a commercial property investor or simply a homeowner facing foreclosure, the expertise and knowledge of a real estate lawyer can provide the service, guidance, and legal advice you need for a positive outcome. The peace of mind you receive knowing that everything was done correctly could be worth the cost of an attorney. But having an attorney to negotiate on your behalf can also save you a significant amount of money, time, and stress.

The team of real estate attorneys at The Law Office of Diron Rutty has been providing clients in the Bronx and Poughkeepsie areas with exceptional legal assistance since 1995. We have a thorough understanding of real estate law and will do everything we can to ensure that your real estate transaction is successful. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.