Real Estate Investments

The Manhattan real estate investment lawyers of Malecki Law will assist clients in all areas of the housing market. Real estate is, after all, most Americans' first investment. Assisting the purchases and sales of apartments and homes, as well as leasing issues, the New York property attorneys of this office are ready to help you and protect your interests. Our counsel is gifted in the handling of purchase/sales issues and mortgage refinance.

This office will provide counsel to:

  • Commercial Purchasers and Sellers
  • Private Purchasers and Sellers
Tips in Negotiating with Your Real Estate Agent:
  • An agent should make the transaction easier & safer for you, finding and screening out clients.
  • An agent does not need a written agreement to collect a commission, as long as an agent has a ready, willing and able buyer on seller's terms. A written agreement, however, protects both the agent and the seller.
  • Exclusives typically run from 3-6 months. At termination, a list of prospective purchasers must be provided, typically within 5 days.
  • It is best to be knowledgeable and honest about the condition of the unit and the building. Trying to hide defects of a problematic building usually will waste your time and the buyer's. Further, the more knowledgeable you sound; you will be better able to sell the unit. An agent representing both seller and buyer must treat both parties fairly and respond to questions in a truthful manner.

It is in the interest of all parties to be informed about:

  • The application process, including Necessary Documents, credit checks, FEES and the “type” of board involved, if leasing or buying a cooperative. Some condominiums also have some application/registration process.
  • How is title held by the Seller? Individual, Joint, or in probate or trust?
  • Contract Deposit: Necessary by seller, sponsor or building?
  • Maintenance and Maintenance History and Future, Arrears, J-51/421-A tax abatements.
  • Shares, for cooperatives; Tax Lots, for condominiums.
  • Recent or Current or Impending Assessments and Assessments History.
  • Sublet Policy, for cooperatives: this should not be an issue in condominiums, but some condominiums try to do strange things in New York.
  • Present Lease/Tenancy.
  • Condition of Appliance.
  • Litigation/Violations.
  • Flip Tax, in the case of cooperatives.
  • Size and Duration of Building's Mortgage/Percent.
Considerations for Owner-Occupied/Sponsor Units, as well as Seller's Mortgage and Liens
  • Reserve Fund.
  • Right of First Refusal, for condominiums.
  • Condition of the Building and Unit and Recent Renovations, Building in the Area Affecting Views, Lead and Asbestos.
  • Occupancy, Pet, Fireplace, Terrace, Appliance, and Other Miscellaneous or Peculiar Rules and Fees.
  • Move In/Move Out Deposits and Other Fees.
  • Closing Date and Location Issues: will everyone be present?
The Contract:

Selecting Counsel is an important decision. If your client does not have one, have one ready to recommend. Get a New York real estate attorney involved quickly, before the seller has a buyer or before the buyer is sent a contract. Property lawyers have some work to do and you do not need delay. Obtain name, address, telephone and facsimile numbers. Think about escrow issues for a New York property attorney representing himself or herself.

Obtain the usual due diligence documents requested by attorneys up-front to avoid delay. Those documents are:

  • Offering Plan and All Amendments.
  • Two years' financial statements.
  • House Rules.
  • Proprietary Lease, for a cooperative Name, Address, Telephone Number and CONTACT PERSON at the Management Company. Civility wins! Management companies typically hate dealing with property lawyers. When a New York real estate lawyer contacts a management company to review Board Minutes or other documents, if an agent has contacted the management company well in advance that a deal is pending, they are likely to react more quickly to everyone's benefit.
  • Get a copy of the fully signed contract to protect your interests in the commission.
Objectives Between Contract and Closing:
  • Mortgage Commitment. Help the buyer obtain any necessary documentation from the building and delivery of loan commitment or rejection letter within a specific time frame. Tell prospective purchasers to get pre-approved to speed the process and help them make price decisions.
  • Board Application and Approval, for a cooperative. Help Organize and prepare the prospective purchaser.
  • Inspection and Final Walk-Through, inspections are typically for condominiums - although also performed for cooperatives. Both should have a walk through.
  • Payment Letter, directing payment of proceeds to parties at closing; Board, Mortgage and Liens/Judgments.
Considerations During Closing Costs:
  • Brokerage Commission and Usually 6% of the contract price payable by the Seller. Make sure you know who is paying the commission, as either party could be responsible. Typically in new construction or other sponsor sales, the buyer pays the commission.
  • Flip Tax: A percentage of the profit to the Seller on the sale determined by the Offering Plan, Amendments or Board Minutes.
  • New York State Tax $2.00 for every $500 of the purchase price, normally paid by the seller, but not usually in new constructions or sponsor sales. No filing fee.
  • New York City Tax: 1% of the purchase price up to $500,000.00, 1.425% of the purchase price over $500,000.00, and an additional 1% for sales over $1,000,000.00 (Mansion Tax). There is also a $25.00 filing fee.
  • Counsel Fees (Buyer and Seller): Prices vary. Typically, both parties bear their own costs, except where there is new construction or a sponsor sale, but each situation may vary.
  • Bank Fees: Bank fees to attend a closing vary. Banks picking up funds do not typically charge any fee for attendance, but may charge for UCC filings. Banks giving a mortgage usually require the purchaser to pay attorneys fees and filing fees for UCC Filings.
  • Title Company and Recording Fees.
  • The purchaser typically pays title, tax (fee insurance, mortgage insurance, searches, mortgage tax and endorsements) and recording fees to the title closer at closing, plus a tip.
  • Transfer Agent Fees. In cooperative apartment buildings the management company, New York real estate lawyers for the building or a Board member attends the closing to effect transfer of title in corporate cooperative shares and witnesses the execution of the proprietary lease.
  • Maintenance/Common Charge/Tax Apportionment.
  • Foreign Sellers. Foreign sellers are liable to the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") to pay ten percent (10%) of the purchase price in taxes. A purchaser is directed to withhold 10% of the purchase price at closing and file with the IRS. Non-foreign sellers must file a non-foreign certificate for filing with the IRS.
Documents at Closing:
  • Transfer Tax Returns, for New York City and State Taxes as discussed above.
  • Smoke Alarm Affidavit.
  • Lead Paint Disclosure Letter.
  • Marked-Up Title Report.
  • Loan Commitment, Promissory Note, Loan Security Agreement, Collateral Assignments.
  • Maintenance/Common Charge Letter.
  • FIRPA (Foreign/Non-Foreign Status Affidavit) for Seller.
  • 1099-S form for Seller.
  • UCC-3s.
  • Affidavits of Seller/Purchaser, if necessary.
  • Fireplace Survival Letter.
  • Closing Statement.
For condominiums and homes:
  • Owner's Registration Card.
  • Deed.
  • Power of Attorney, for condominiums or in special cases.
  • Affidavit in Lieu of Registration Statement, for condominiums.
  • Waiver of Right of First Refusal, for condominiums.
For cooperatives:
  • Share Certificate and Stock Power and surrender of prior certificate or affidavit of lost certificate.
  • Consent of Corporation.
  • Recognition Agreement.
  • Proprietary Lease Assignment.
Industry and Government Links

NYS Department of State
Division of Licensing Services for Real Estate Professionals & the Public

NY Public Advocate
1 Centre Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10007
(212) 669-7200

Manhattan Borough President
1 Centre Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10007

NYC Deeds & Mortgages
212-788-8528 NYC;
718-802-3590 Brooklyn;
718-298-7000 Queens;
718-579-5700 Bronx;
718-390-5386 Richmond

REBNY – The Real Estate Board of NY
570 Lexington Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, New York 10022
212- 532-3100;
For residential real estate listings

Crain's New York Business
711 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
(212) 210-0100

American Homeowners Association

Current and Historical Pricing

Real Estate Listings

Mortgage Interest Rates;
Fannie Mae REO Homes for Sale;
Mortgage Bankers Association

Taxation Rates

US Internal Revenue Service
1-800-829-3676 Forms;
1800-829-1040 Information

NYS Department of Taxation
1-800-641-0004 Real Estate Taxes;
212-416-8123 Real Estate Financing;
Real Property 212-416-8123

NYC Department of Finance

Property Tax Appeals

NYC Owned Real Estate

Lot Auctions
Sale, Residential

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Client Reviews
I worked with Jenice and her team to successfully resolve a brokerage / securities related issue for an elder relative and was quite pleased with how they walked us through the process and took into account the challenges that age sometimes unfortunately present. They were all professional - and effective. I would use them again without question if the need arose. Bart
Jenice is truly a rock star! My wife and I contacted her to help with a quick-turn-around closing on our apartment. Fast, friendly, and fabulously informed about the process and what we'd need to stay on track to close on time, Jenice never skipped a beat. She's a dedicated attorney that goes above and beyond for her clients. Honestly, what more could you ask for? Jerry Dugan
Bob was a pleasure to work with. My case was unusually long and they handled every step of the way well and kept me constantly informed of all updates. The outcome was successful thanks to Malecki Law's great customer care and knowledge/experience. Flavia V.