I've closed on two properties in Monroe County. My experience was similar to Nassau County in that both sides had a lawyer involved, but otherwise there was less paperwork involved. I only attended one of the closings in person; the other my lawyer did for me without my being there.
You may be asking, in essence, do you need a lawyer? I just wouldn't close in New York State without a lawyer. If you hire a local lawyer, you will probably pay a lot less than if you hire a Nassau lawyer, and the local lawyer knows the local practices. I paid a flat fee of about $600 to my lawyer.
Of course you will want title insurance and I always obtain a market value rider on my title insurance. It adds little to the upfront cost of the policy, but it protects your investment for current value if a claim is made after the property has appreciated.
Karla Harby, VP
Charles Rutenberg Realty
New York City