The latest from Lili about Boston Real Estate.

Real Estate Attorneys Bring A Lot to the Table

February 6, 2016 |

In any Boston luxury real estate transaction, a seasoned and knowledgeable attorney is an asset in making sure that all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed. In the case of real estate transactions in Boston, it is imperative to have an attorney who specializes in real estate. Dealing with a single family in the suburbs, buyers are confronted with different issues that buying a coop or a condo with a whole different set of issues and restrictions.

It’s not enough just going through the motions of agreeing or disagreeing Purchase and Sale agreement language. To be a smart Boston luxury home buyer, you’ve got to know exactly what to look for in those documents. I have seen so many deals fall through at the last minute due to an attorney’s oversight.  You don’t necessarily have to hire the most expensive lawyer. What you need to know is their track record in Boston luxury real estate transactions and their attention to detail.

Just to give you an example, a client of mine was buying a multi-million dollar property. The Boston luxury home came with 2 garage parking spaces (virtual gold mine), as represented by the listing agent. It was also reflected in the Purchase and Sale agreement signed by the seller, their attorney and the buyer. Two weeks before the closing,  the seller had an “oops” moment. The unit only came with one parking space, not two. If you are familiar with parking situation in Boston, you know that this line item is a deal breaker. Seller did not want to take the blame, because they “thought” they had two. Needless to say, the Boston luxury home deal fell through because the seller refused to compensate the buyer and wanted to blame their broker.

Brokers are not attorneys. They only represent what is signed and represented by the seller. However, a good real estate attorney will pull the deed to the property and check on what is deeded with the unit. The mistake, although misrepresented, would have been caught before signing of the Purchase and Sale. But the bottom line holds true: don’t hire an attorney because he/she is a family friend or an in-house attorney. Make sure they know what they’re doing, whether you’re selling or buying.


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