Find/Hire your Attorney: Before you have a deal. Once an offer comes in you will want to have your attorney prepare and send out the contracts within 24 hours. In the NYC co-op condo market speed is everything. You should meet with your lawyer early in the process- work out a fee arrangement- make sure he or she knows the peculiarities of your deal and make sure he/she will treat your deal seriously and not just pass it off to a paralegal as a “cookie cutter” deal. Make your lawyer aware of anything out of the ordinary- like if you might have to stay an extra few weeks after the closing to finish out the school year or if you have any judgments against you, etc. Have your lawyer available to answer questions about the offers and counteroffers. Usually the broker can handle this but it is a good idea to get your lawyer’s thoughts if the negotiations get tricky. What you don’t want to do is start searching for a lawyer after you have a deal or after you hit a snag in the negotiations. Then you will most likely go the lawyer the broker suggested who might be more interested in his long term and future relationship with the broker who refers him business then you.
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