Home Buying in Rochester>Question Details

Logan Dance, Home Buyer in Spokane, WA

Buyer's Attorney for Rochester, NY: Is this the usual case, or can we do a closing without a buyer's attorney?

Asked by Logan Dance, Spokane, WA Thu May 5, 2011

Does the seller usually have an attorney? Then there's a bank attorney as well. Who hosts the closing? And, can we obtain title insurance without a title insurance agent? Any other tips for saving money at closing? Thanks!

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Zisis Sakellariou’s answer
Hi Logan,

Typically in this area it is very typically for both sides to have an attorney and it IS STRONGLY ADVISED to do so. There job is to review all the documents, offer you the title insurance, review your lenders paperwork, sellers attorney/ title paperwork, and advise you on your decisions throughout the process to make sure you are not taken advantage of. In my opinion its not worth saving the $400 or $500 if everyone else is represented by an attorney and you are unrepresented and not familiar with the process. These Q&A advise blogs are somewhat general and you certainly should have someone reviewing the specifics of your transaction that has YOUR best interests in mind.

The seller does have an attorney as do the buyers. In NY the contract has to be reviewed by both attorneys once agreed upon by the buyer and seller.

The "host" of the closing is typically the lenders attorney but not always.

If you need a referral, let me know.

Good Luck, and get representation! Protect Yourself!!

Zisis Sakellariou
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 6, 2011
In the Rochester area we do use Buyer's and Seller's attorney. The attorney does the work with the Title company. There is the Bank attorney and you never want him to represent you. Insurance you can and will have to obtain yourself before closing.

Welcome to Rochester!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Good morning Logan Dance,

It makes good sense to protect yourself with the single
biggest purchase of your life by hiring an attorney
who specializes in real estate transactions.

It is common here in New York to have an attorney represent the Buyer in a purchase transaction. I know elsewhere in the country this is not necessarily the case. Frankly, I can’t understand how anyone could proceed with signing important legal documents without an attorney present to review and advise.

A good real estate attorney seeks to do two things in a purchase transaction:

1. Protect her client. This includes a review and revision of the contract of sale to remove any harmful language/requirements. Also a review of the title report to verify there are no obstructions to you, the Purchaser, receiving a good "clean" title at closing. Lastly, a thorough review and explanation of the closing documents.

2. Help the Purchaser accomplish the goal of homeownership. A good real estate attorney understands that buying a home is a happy time: someone's dream is about to come true! Thus, the adversarial nature of the contract transaction gets toned down to a matter of reasonable conversations betwen the Purchaser's and Seller's attorneys. This isn't a lawsuit or divorce case, so the good real estate attorney has to tone down the rhetoric and find reasonable compromises---while still protecting his client---so that the goal of the contract is achieved: a home purchase.

Hope that helps!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 30, 2012
You are required to have an attorney do a real estate closing in NYS. We would strongly suggest that not only do you use your own attorney, but use one that SPECIALIZES in real estate transactions. It can be an absolute nightmare to work with an attorney who doesn't know what they are doing. We had this happen when a seller insisted on using her attorney who was a criminal attorney and knew NOTHING about real estate transactions! A closing that should have taken no more than 30 days turned into 4 months of HELL for our poor attorney and everyone involved.

If you are planning on doing any real estate transactions here in Rochester, do yourself a favor and look up Steve Pheterson, Esq. He is one of the BEST real estate attorneys in town. It is worth it to spend a little money to avoid a closing nightmare.

Hope this was of help to you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 1855JOEBUYS@gmail.com.

Joe & Pam
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 23, 2012
Your mortgage broker and buyers agent are the professional assist with all of your questions
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 8, 2011
It is highly advisable to have an attorney of your own to handle your closing details; he/she will review documentation, provide necessary information, title paperwork, etc., it will be money well spent; yes, sellers do have their own attorney as well; the closings are generally hosted by the lender's attorney, unless agreed otherwise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 7, 2011
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