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All About Closing On A Property What happens in closing for a New York State property is different from what happens in other states. In some states, you don’t have to do it in person, but in New York State, we all get together and sit around the table. At closing, we have a title closer, the lender’s attorney, the buyer’s attorney, the seller’s attorney, and the purchasers and sellers themselves.

At closing, the seller signs the transfer documents, transferring the property over to the buyer. This then has to be approved by the title company representative who is sitting there. The title company is going to give your attorney a marked-up title report to show that everything is clean and clear as well as provide you with an original of the title insurance policy.

How Long Does It Take To Close On A Property In New York?

Customarily, the real estate closing process in New York can take anywhere from 60 to 90 days if everything goes smoothly. However, if unexpected issues arise, it is not uncommon for the closing process to extend beyond 90 days – and sometimes even longer than 120 days.

Many different issues can cause delays in the closing process. Delays can arise from:

  • Extensive negotiations regarding specific terms.
  • Not using the standard form of contracts that have been approved by both the local Realtor associations and Bar Associations.
  • The inclusion of extensive riders meant to protect the interests of buyer or seller clients.

By understanding the crucial components of the closing process on a property, there is less margin for error for all parties involved. To ensure that your closing process goes as smoothly as possible, make sure you work with a professional real estate attorney that is experienced in dealing with these matters.

Who Prepares Closing Statements In NY?

In the state of New York, real estate agents handle negotiations and the initial offer and counter-offer phase of the transaction. Once an offer is accepted, they will then prepare the memorandum of sale, which is used by a real estate attorney to prepare contracts.

From here on out, the real estate attorney handles the remainder of the transaction, including closing statements. Once all figures have been tallied, your attorney will prepare a spreadsheet that details your exact closing costs and flow of funds – as well as the terms and conditions of the transaction.

Paying these costs correctly is critical to closing the transaction on time and successfully. By working with a skilled attorney, you can be sure that your closing statements will be managed with the utmost precision and care every step of the way.

What You Should Bring To Your Closing

While it varies, buyers and sellers both usually have to bring two forms of photo identification. The buyer is going to bring the difference of funds they need to close, and the seller’s going to bring all the transfer documents and the keys to the property.

Getting “The Pay-Off Letter”

Once we get all the numbers for items such as property disclosure credit, property deed, and transfer tax forms, we would have the seller’s mortgage company provide a pay-off letter to ensure everything gets paid off at the closing — as well as your realtor bills. Then, the lender will provide your attorney with all the documents necessary for you to get your loan.

Double & Triple Checking All The Numbers

At Fier Law Office, we sit down with each buyer we represent. We go over every document with you so you understand what it is that you’re signing, what you are purchasing, and what it’s going to cost you.

We verify that the commitment letter regarding the loan is consistent with what we’re seeing when we’re sitting down at the closing. We check the amount you are borrowing, the interest rates that you’re paying, and the costs that you’re incurring. We also go over all the documents that now give a priority lien to that mortgage holder for the property. Finally, we make sure the funds go to the seller for the purchase price, and that you get the deed and keys to the property.

How To Close With Speed & Efficiency

A real estate attorney makes this process go smoothly due to preparation. I have worked with many other real estate attorneys where, due to their preparation, the closing goes smoothly, sometimes lasting only 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, in instances where the other attorney has never done a real estate transaction before or doesn’t do them often, a closing can take as long as three hours.

When you hire Fier Law Office, you hire an experienced real estate law firm that understands that preparation is what makes the closing go smoothly. We work diligently to make sure that happens.

Common Causes For Derails & Holdups

In New York, there are several common causes for delays or roadblocks that can derail the sale or purchase of a property. The most common issues have to do with things that come up in that title report.

For example, maybe we discover a break in the chain of title. While this is something that rarely happens, it can derail any closing. If there is a break in the chain of title, the seller has to bring an action to quiet title that clarifies ownership – which can take six months to a year to accomplish. Because of the extended timeline, buyers typically bail out of the transaction before this issue can be resolved.

Then, there are more simple things that delay the closing. This could be as simple as the bank attorney not being prepared, or the funds not getting wired into his account on the day of the closing as scheduled. Even small issues can stop closing in its tracks — because when there’s no money, you can’t close.

What Is A Dry Closing In Real Estate


A Dry Closing

In cases where there is no money, one way we try to close is to do a dry closing. Through this process, all “ducks are set in a row” by putting everything in escrow with the understanding that the money will be transferred within 24 hours. This way, when the money is successfully transferred, the closing can officially take place.


  • If the seller or buyer passes away before the closing.
  • If one of the sellers is coming from a different state for the closing meeting, but their flight is delayed
  • If the buyer loses his job and the bank is no longer willing to fund the loan.
  • If there’s difficulty getting a payoff letter from a lender.
  • If the seller or buyer has any judgments that have become property liens that still need to be taken care of.
    • In some cases, judgments have been taken care of, but those in the closing meeting don’t have the documentation yet. One example of such a lack of documentation happened in Suffolk County, New York. A while back, the county clerk’s office was hacked—the whole county was hacked. So, if you paid for a traffic ticket in Suffolk County, you had no way of proving that you paid it after the hack. As a result, if you couldn’t prove that the ticket was paid, it could hold up closing on the property unless you were willing to put twice the amount of your ticket in escrow pending the closing.

The Location Of Your Real Estate Closing

If you are buying a property with cash and there’s no financing involved, then the seller is the one who determines where the closing will be. Usually, they opt for closing to occur at the seller’s attorney’s office. If there’s financing involved, then the closing is at the lender’s office — because you’re going to go where the money for the purchase is.

However, we at Fier Law Office often try to close within the county in which the property is located — as well as where the lender is.…

For example, if a property is in Suffolk County, we would limit the closing location to Suffolk County. We’re not going to make our client go into Nassau County or Queens County to close the loan unless the appropriate party pays the additional fees for our client to go there.

With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Real Estate Law Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.

For more information on Real Estate Law Cases in New York, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (631) 585-4343 today.

Michael H. Fier, Esq.

Call For A Free Consultation (631) 585-4343

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