3 Things Your Lawyer Should Tell You BEFORE a Real Estate Closing

Thorny issues such as missing certificates of occupancy, fences off the property lines and the condition of underground tanks should be known and resolved long before you sit down at a closing table. These are things the buyer should know:

1. How much money to bring. Once the closing date is set, the buyer’s attorney should be able to project the amount of escrow the bank will require. This should not be
a surprise.

2. A walkthrough should take place as close to the closing as possible; the longer the gap, the more likely that something adverse could occur. Any adjustments to the selling price for damaged property or appliances must happen at closing.

3. Secure homeowner’s casualty insurance. A first-time buyer often overlooks this unless a bank loan requires it.

Bonus: Unless a surviving “broom clean” contract provision is established at time of closing, the buyer may have no recourse against the seller if he finds the property cluttered with the seller’s belongings (aka junk) upon taking possession. Caveat emptor!

Happy Closing! Don’t forget two valid forms of ID.
Stephen P. Epstein is a partner at Jaspan Schlesinger, Attorneys At Law. The Garden City based firm handles many areas of the legal profession. In more than 30 years of practice, Epstein and his team have successfully handled countless closings in Nassau and Suffolk counties.