Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.
In New York, there is what seems an almost endless debate between buying and renting a home; between owning a piece of property that you can say is yours, versus paying someone for the privilege of living in theirs.
There are pros and cons to both approaches, but if you’re going to go along with the theory that buying is the best way to spend your money, then you better know what’s in the Contract of Sale. And if you’re going to want to know what’s in the Contract of Sale, you better have a clear understanding with your attorney.
Far too often I find clients are simply ready to sign on the dotted line. If they’re buying a Dyson on Home Shopping, they’re certainly checking out the warranty to see what it covers. But if they’re putting down hundreds of thousands of dollars, many of them simply trust that the lawyer has done what the lawyer should do, and they sign away.
This, my friends, is a terrible mistake. A client should always know (and in my opinion has the responsibility to know) what it is that they’re agreeing to.
“But a lawyer should tell the client what they need to know when they buy real estate,” you say. Granted. Yes. But I find that sometimes clients will feel too intimidated to ask, and it’s to their detriment.
Here are some of the common questions you should ask your attorney if you’re buying some real estate in New York: