Buying or selling a home in New York is one of the biggest financial transactions you will make in your lifetime. As such, there are many laws that have been enacted to ensure that both the buyer and seller are protected during the process. Each state has its own unique set of rules that govern real estate transactions. If you’re getting ready to buy or sell a home in New York, don’t ignore these four important real estate laws.

1 – Real estate agents cannot author a contract

There is one big way in which New York state real estate practices differ than those of other states. In New York, real estate agents are not allowed to write up contracts. This is why nearly all real estate transactions in New York utilize the services of an attorney. The only parties who can draw up contracts are either the seller or their attorney. Since most people aren’t comfortable with writing up legal documents, they hire lawyers to do it. So while you aren’t required by law to hire an attorney, it’s definitely in your best interest. This is especially true if you are a buyer since you’ll want to ensure the contract doesn’t heavily favor the seller.

2 – Either party can walk away after the offer

Once the seller accepts an offer, the buyer can perform inspections on the property. After these inspections, a contract is drawn up and submitted to both parties for attorney review. During this 72-hour period, changes can be made to the contract that both the buyer and the seller agree to. Most importantly, during this period, either party can walk away without penalty if their attorney finds cause.

3 – Sellers must make certain disclosures

During a real estate transaction, the sellers must make certain disclosures about the property. This includes things such as termite infestations, the presence of asbestos, and problems with the electrical system. Other things that must be disclosed are rules for the Homeowners Association (HOA) and other pertinent information such as the presence of a shared driveway. Sellers must provide a buyer with a Property Condition Disclosure Statement. Failure to do so will result in the seller being required to credit $500 to the buyer at closing.

4 – Agents must also make disclosures

In nearly all real estate transactions, the seller will pay the commission fees for both the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent at closing. As a buyer, it makes sense to hire a real estate agent, since it won’t cost you anything. Be aware that when you decide to work with an agent, the agent is required by law to provide you with a New York State Disclosure Form for Buyer and Seller. This form outlines the rights and obligations of buyers and sellers and the rolls that the agents will perform. In some cases, the same agent or agency may be representing both the buyer and seller and the agent is required to disclose these relationships. Both the buyer and the seller will need to give their informed consent in writing in this case.

Contact Platinum Properties today

If you’re buying, selling, or renting real estate in New York, click here or call 646-681-5272 to speak with an agent at Platinum Properties. We’re always available to answer any questions you have about the real estate process.