Of course, you can legally purchase a property without a lawyer. It is within your legal rights, but it is risky and unusual for a New York real estate deal to move forward without the buyer working with an experienced real estate attorney. In fact, 99% of real estate transactions in the state have attorneys involved representing both the buyer and the seller. If it’s not a legal requirement, why do so many New Yorkers involved in a real estate transaction work with an attorney?

The answer is fairly simple, all real estate contracts of sale are drawn up by the principle or their attorney. If the principle doesn’t have the ability to draw up a contract for their real estate transaction, and they don’t hire an attorney, the only other option would be to have the seller’s attorney create the contract for the sale. Obviously, this scenario leaves the buyer open to massive bias in the seller’s favor. This dramatically increases the risks involved in purchasing New York real estate. If the real estate purchase hinges on obtaining financing for the property, the lender may not even approve financing if you don’t have buyer legal representation.

Before you sign a real estate contract, your attorney should review the full document, as well as:

  1. Board meeting minutes: Reviewing several years’ worth of board meeting minutes before signing the contract for a new apartment will provide helpful clues about potentially expensive problems in the building. For example, if the building has an elevator that needs to be replaced or a recurring bug problem or a bad roof, a new tenant could be inconvenienced by the problem upon move in or even expected to cover a portion of the bill for the repairs.
  2. Financial Statements: Your legal representation will review financial statements as well as your offering plan. These include bylaws and special considerations or risks associated with the property. These documents will often include details that the buyer should be aware of before closing.


A savvy real estate lawyer does due diligence. They negotiate the deal and then represent their client at closing. If you need help negotiating a New York real estate deal, please get in touch with one of the experienced real estate attorneys at Aronow Law PC.