Blocks & Lots

How much to pay in real estate attorney fees for NYC closings

What’s the average price for a real estate attorney’s fee in NYC?

The real estate attorney’s fee is generally flat — around $2000 to $3000 per purchase for a “normal” transaction. An attorney’s fee will drop in areas outside of NYC such as Long Island or the Hudson Valley.

The size of the transaction may also affect the attorney fees. If you buy a $50 million condo, your attorney’s fees will likely be more than if you buy one for $500,000.

What should you be aware of when estimating your attorney’s fee?

Avoid closing attorneys who charge by the hour! Some family lawyers have a one-size-fits-all approach. One minute, they’re handling a divorce; the next filing a lawsuit against a nursing home; and the next they’re doing your closing.

These attorneys may insist on charging an hourly rate. That only shows that, unlike specialized real estate attorneys, they are inexperienced in this area. Avoid these guys unless the transaction is very basic.

Check out Marketproof Pro for the most information anywhere on NYC condos.

When is it okay to pay more to a real estate attorney?

If there’s a lot of time involved in a complex transaction. For example, sending out Power of Attorney forms to disparate parties or tracking down heirs to a property. is time-consuming. Don’t expect all this to be included in a normal closing price.

Also, if there is a multi-unit property, there may be additional factors involved such as code issues, tenants, leases, etc. The same goes for a transaction with a foreign buyer. 

New development in NYC can involve increased fees

Watch out for those shiny new amenity-filled condos in NYC. Developers never miss a trick to try and make good on their investment, and that includes charging you for some of their closing costs.

These costs can include NYC and NY State transfer taxes and the sponsor’s attorney fees. This results in buyers of new construction being hit with a double whammy in fees — for both their and the seller’s attorney. Ouch!

Guess who decides on the rate the sponsor’s attorney charges? You guessed it, the sponsor! It’s a bit like having Tony Soprano show up to the closing table. Needless to say, the sponsor’s attorney’s fees have been going up faster than condos against the Manhattan skyline, and it’s not unheard of for them to charge $3000-$5000 these days.

In the current NYC buyer’s market, however, developers are eager to sell their inventory. That means each part of the transaction is more negotiable than ever, including the purchase price and closing costs.

Negotiable costs include attorney fees, transfer tax, parking spaces, storage, a mansion tax credit, and months or years of common charges. Marketproof Pro will supply you with the info you need to get concessions on these items. You should also enlist an experienced attorney or agent.

Where can I find the best info on new properties?

With Marketproof New Development, you can easily search both publicly listed properties and unlisted off-market properties not available on popular listing sites. Marketproof can increase the inventory you see by 9-10x what you may see on other sites. Create an account today and get a 7-day free trial.

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Top Photo Courtesy of 300 West.