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Home > Blog > Real Estate > Documents To Know About In New York Real Estate Transactions

Documents To Know About In New York Real Estate Transactions


Every New York real estate transaction involves the piles of paperwork necessary to make the sale happen. This is a sometimes tedious but critical part of the process to protect both the buyer and seller. The buyer needs to know that the property is what the seller states it is, and the seller needs certain assurances to make sure they can move forward (or are covered if the buyer backs out).

Different documentation is needed at different stages, and the process can seem quite complex to those without a background or experience in real estate sales. Some of these important real estate documents include:

  1. Contract of Sale. The real estate sales contract must include the address of the property subject to the exchange. It should also include a detailed legal description of the property, including any easements or encumbrances that will impact the buyer’s use of the property or ability to sell in the future. 
  1. Property Deed. A real estate property deed is a written and signed document that legally transfers ownership of the real property from the buyer to the seller. To be legally valid, a property deed must include the following:
  • The deed must be in writing, and the seller must have legal capacity to transfer title of the property (i.e., they can’t be a minor, or a person without the cognitive abilities to make important decisions);
  • The seller and buyer must be properly identified;
  • Operative words of conveyance must be included in the deed to identify what is being transferred and how.
  1. Professional Appraisal. The appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion based on an in-person inspection, market trends, sales of similar existing properties in the area, and features of the home, among other factors. This helps guide the buyer and seller toward a fair sale price and “middle ground” for agreement. The appraisal is not determinative, however, and either party remains free to negotiate their own figures.
  1. Title Report. This is a written analysis of the property’s title, which includes not only the property description, but also:
  • Names of the title holder(s);
  • How the title is held;
  • Any liens or encumbrances on the property;
  • Any property taxes due on the property.

The title search is usually a straightforward process, but can sometimes reveal unwelcome surprises in the form of old judgment or tax liens that remain on the title. A seller needs “clean title” to move forward with the deal, so this process ensures the sale can be completed.

  1. Mortgage Loan and Financing Documentation. To complete the sale, both parties will need completed financial documents from the buyer if they are financing the transaction. Unless the buyer is paying with cash, they will need completed mortgage loan documents showing how they are paying for the property.

Our Bronx and New Rochelle Real Estate Attorneys Can Help You in the New York Real Estate Transaction Process 

Even if you are using a real estate agent to sell or buy a property, the process can be confusing and even overwhelming. There are many separate documents involved, and each of these must be completely accurate. It always helps to have a skilled real estate attorney at your side to make sure you are getting the best deal possible and will not be faced with any unwelcome surprises. Our Bronx & Westchester real estate attorneys at Cavallo & Cavallo have proven experience in the real estate market and can help you achieve your goals. Contact us today for help.

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