If you ever find yourself buying or selling a home anywhere in or around NYC, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Putnam or Dutchess Counties, be sure you have a knowledgable real estate attorney who knows how to best protect your interest.

While my wife and I recently lost on a bid we had for a home in Rockland County, I learned something very important. You see, any attorney my wife and i would choose to work with understands the need for a strict financing contingency and appraisal contingency. Why is this important you ask? Well, for anyone putting down more than 20%, a lender / bank might approve your mortgage even if the home or property does not appraise at or above the contract price. Typically lenders will lend up to 80% loan to value. So, if you put down more than 20%, a lender/ bank may still approve your loan even if it appraised at less than the contract price – as long as the lender / bank is not lending you more than 80% of the home’s appraised value.

Since my wife and I felt the home we liked was way over-priced and would not appraise anywhere near the asking price, after having our “reasonable” offer rejected we offered to allow the seller to name their price for the contract. We told them that if the house appraised at or above the contract price, we would be bound by the contract price. If however the home appraised for less than the contract price we would pay 5% less than the appraised value. This forces a seller and their broker to think before they price a home for sale. We found out that the other offer they had included a 40% down-payment. I had a conversation with a very knowledgeable Rockland County broker, I was told that they had never seen a local real estate attorney ask fro an appraisal contingency, not even a basic one that say if the home does not appraise we are out of the contract and get a full refund of our deposit. Needless to say, I was shocked. Being in real estate now for 8+ years and having owned and invested in real estate I thought every real estate attorney would protect their buyer clients with a strict financing contingency and appraisal contingency.

If you find yourself needing a knowledgeable real estate attorney, do not hesitate to contact me.

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The website owned and operated by Lee Presser, a New York State licensed real estate salesperson associated with The Corcoran Group and member of The Real Estate Board of New York. The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of The Corcoran Group. This website is not the official website of The Corcoran Group or its affiliated companies, and neither The Corcoran Group nor its affiliated companies in any way warrant the accuracy of any information contained herein. Any product and/ or services offered for sale on this website shall not be considered an offer to sell such goods and/ or services in any state other than New York. Information on this site is not intended as legal or financial advice. I operate a business practice that supports fair housing.