January 8

Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney to Buy or Sell a Home?

The buying and selling of a home is one of the most significant purchases you will ever make. It is a real estate transaction that involves the law of real property and other processes that can be complicated.  A real estate lawyer is experienced and trained to deal with these real estate issues and they can give you the professional guidance and assistance you need in buying and selling a home.

The process of buying and selling a home

In any home purchase, the seller enters into a brokerage contract in writing with a real estate agent. When a potential buyer is found, the broker who acts as an intermediary conducts negotiations. When a formal agreement is reached, the buyer and seller enter a formal written contract for the sale or purchase agreement. From there the buyer becomes committed to financing. The title is examined to be sure it will satisfy the buyer and then  the property is finally transferred to the buyer as the seller receives the purchase price stated in the contract. The process is not easy and will require the help of an attorney experienced in the field.

Practical ways that a real estate lawyer assists with purchase and selling of homes

Real estate lawyers offer legal advice and guidance, which can save you money. The lawyer will protect your interests so that you don’t experience any financial loss in your transaction. A real estate lawyer can help you avoid some common problems with home sales or purchases and save you from problems that could eventually arise. A real estate lawyer will assist in the following ways:

  1. In brokerage agreement:
  • They will ensure that you enter into a brokerage agreement. Without one, you might become liable for paying a brokerage commission, even if a sale doesn’t occur.
  • They will offer advice and guidance on the brokerage agreement.
  • They will ensure that you fill out the correct forms as you enter into the brokerage agreement and if the agreement is a standard form, they will explain the terms and revise it if necessary.
  • They will determine if the agreement was properly signed.
  1. During the course of negotiations:
  • The real estate lawyer may be needed during the course of negotiations. The buyer or seller may have to consult the lawyer for questions such as tax consequence of a transaction.
  1. In purchase agreement:
  • The lawyer will assist in explaining the purchase agreement and the forms used, while making changes and additions according to the buyers’ and sellers’ desires.
  • They will ensure that the purchase agreement contains a carefully worded provision, that it is subject to the buyer obtaining a commitment for financing.
  • Lawyers can review and explain the importance of various document to ensure that the home buyer or seller has real understanding of the documentation.
  1. In title search:

Once the purchase agreement is signed, the real estate lawyer can assist with the title search.

  • In some states and outlying areas where title insurance is not typical, they will review the status of the title and render an opinion of in lieu of policy.
  • In areas where the title insurance is customary, they will help review the title search and explain the exceptions on what is not insured. They will also determine whether or not the legal description is correct and whether or not there are problems with adjoining owners and prior owners.
  • They will also explain the effects of easements and agreements or restrictions imposed by prior owners, as well as any legal restrictions which could restrain you from reselling the property.
  • They can explain any zoning restrictions and ordinances.
  1. In Closing the purchase and sale transaction:

The closing process can be complex to the buyer or seller.

If you are proceeding without a lawyer, your rights may be at risk.

  • When closing a purchase and sale transaction, a real estate attorney can explain the nature, amount and fairness of closing cost.
  • They can assure that as the deed is signed, the documents are appropriately executed and explained to all parties involved.
  • They will assist if last minute disputes arise about delivering procession and personal property, or adjustment of various costs such as fuel and taxes.

Contact Reuven J. Epstein real estate lawyers

The law office of Reuven J. Epstein can assist you from the time you decide to sell a home, right up until time of closing. We have the experience to protect your interest in any real estate transaction. Our firm handles residential real estate matters on a flat-fee basis and offers fee structures with options to meet the needs of our clients.

December 30

Difference between a felony and a misdemeanor.

Criminal offenses are characterized depending on their severity and the penalties that may have been imposed upon them. A felony and a misdemeanor are both criminal offenses, however, they are differentiated by the severity of the crime.

The basic differences between a felony and a misdemeanor:

  • A felony is a heinous crime.
    A misdemeanor is a less serious offense.
  • Felonies may require jail time as punishment, ranging from one year up to the maximum on the particular charge, in state prison.
    Misdemeanors may be punishable by up to one year in county jail.
  • Since a felony is a serious offense, it can leave a very long lasting impact on your criminal history. The consequences may include losing your right to vote if you’ve been convicted or losing your right to a firearm.
    A misdemeanor is a minor offense, that remains on your criminal history and could affect you later in life. However, the impact is not as horrific as that of a felony.
December 29

Do I really need a real estate attorney when buying or selling a house?

Buying or selling a house is one of the most expensive and complex transactions that one may indulge in. It is a huge undertaking, where every process or step we take needs extra care. Also to be considered, is that each state has its own individual requirements. All of these complexities can be sorted out in a consultation with an experienced real estate lawyer. A real estate attorney is advantageous as they are experts in their field and can save us a lot of time and money during the process. Once you begin to go through the transaction and understand the steps and procedures, you will be happy to have another experienced person helping you out. Below are some reasons to obtain a real estate attorney while buying or selling a house:

Speeding up the entire process:

Having access to new online data insolvency visualization software, attorneys can now keep all the legal documents and contracts required in property settlements in one place. Different parties can access, sign and complete the documents and once they are all completed, they can be submitted together on time for settlement. This reduces the settlement time dramatically. This can also track any missing or incomplete documents and the attorney can follow up with the appropriate people. This process can not only save time, but a lot of money as well.

They are experts:

Excitement and nervousness while buying or selling a house can tend to take over, causing us to miss critical terms. An attorney who is a specialist in residential real estate will review your purchase contract before you sign it. They will skilfully work with your mortgage loan officer, the other party’s attorney and agents to fix dates for attorney approval, home inspection, mortgage commitment, and other contingencies. These are very important factors, as many states have certain requirements and limitations on the timelines for such events. Any date or timeline missed could add extra fees or put you at risk of losing the deal.

They help protect your rights:

A real estate attorney can help protect your rights in the event that any problems arise during the deal. If there is any change in the contract or the property deal after contracts have been exchanged, or any information has been convaluted, an attorney can speed up the process and help protect your rights. For these reasons, it always is beneficial to have an attorney from the onset of the deal. A real estate lawyer is trained to deal with these problems and has the experience necessary to take care of them.

Legally binding contracts:

Most of us want to address and negotiate the terms of the property contract face to face with the other party which may later lead to confusion. Hiring an attorney can help you legalize and memorize the contracts in order for them to be legally binding. They will negotiate on your behalf and make sure that the contract adheres to all state laws and addresses any particular issues that might affect the future use of the property.

Addressing Liens:

Attorneys also perform a title search to make sure that the property being sold is free of any impediments, such as liens or judgments. This is important because it reveals whether the seller has the legal right to sell the property in question. An attorney will be able to provide this service much faster, and often with less cost because real estate attorneys have working relationships with title search companies.


When filing real estate deeds, they need to be done at both the county and state level. An attorney will be able to do this quickly and efficiently. In many states, attorneys can change or void the legal language in a purchase contract under state laws.

Contact the law office of Reuven J. Epstein

The real estate attorneys of Reuven J. Epstein provide capable assistance in real estate transactions. We will ensure that your rights and interests are protected. We handle both commercial and residential real estate cases. Call us at 845-459-0002/ 800-579-1605 or email us at info@reuvenjepteinlaw.com / reuven@reuvenjepsteinlaw.com.

December 22

What are my rights if I am arrested for a criminal offense?

Individuals accused of committing a crime have a series of rights which are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The following checklist of rights may also provide to you with guidance:

  • You have a right to remain silent: If you were accused of a crime, you have a right to remain silent. Therefore ensuring that you cannot be forced to disclose any information or prove your case to the police. If you attempted to remain silent in the face of police questioning and were pressured or forced into speaking, your rights have been violated.
  • You have a right to an attorney: If you are under arrest for a crime, you have the right to have an attorney present during the first and any subsequent talks with the police. (You also have a right to have counsel from any attorney during any trial). Your rights are violated if the police denied your request for an attorney during questioning.
  • You have a right to request for an attorney at later during questioning: At times, a criminal suspect may have false confidence that they can handle the matter without the assistance of an attorney. If the suspect decides to answer police questions without an attorney, they still possess the right to ask for an attorney at a later point. Once he or she asks for an attorney, all questioning must stop until the attorney arrives.
  • You are entitled to a state-paid and appointed attorney if you cannot afford your own: If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you are entitled to a state paid attorney, or a public defender will be assigned to represent you.
  • You have entitled to human treatment: Any criminal suspect is entitled to fair treatment, no matter how heinous the alleged crime is. If you were not treated humanely, for instance if you were beaten or deprived food either during police questioning or while in a holding cell, your rights may have been violated.
  • You cannot be held unfairly: The government cannot hold you for an extended period of time without charging you for a crime. If you have been held without being charged for longer than the legal period of time, your rights may have been violated.
  • You cannot be treated as guilty before you are convicted: A criminal suspect held in jail cannot be treated as a guilty individual no matter how strong the evidence. The U.S criminal justice system states that all people are innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, if you have been punished or treated unfairly while awaiting trial, your rights may have been violated.
  • You are entitled to speedy trial: Once you are charged, the government cannot purposefully wait to commence a trial against you. If this happens, your rights have been violated.

Speak to the criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Reuven J. Epstein

If you were arrested for a criminal offense,  contact the law office of Reuven J. Epstein, criminal defense attorney. We have successfully defended the rights of numerous clients accused of serious crimes. Call us to schedule your appointment at 845-459-0002/ 800-579-1605 or email us at info@reuvenjepsteinlaw.com.

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