Real Estate  

    Buying and Selling a House:

    The real estate broker serves as the intermediary between the seller and the buyer. In most instances the buyers and sellers will not meet until the day of closing. The seller’s attorney will draft the Contract of Sale and the buyer’s attorney will review it and negotiate modifications—both attorneys working for the best interest of their respective clients.

    There is No Such Thing as a Simple Real Estate Deal:

    Although Mary Jane McPherson often hears her clients say that it’s a simple deal, her experience has taught her that nothing is as simple as it first appears when it involves a real estate contract. The more attention to detail and the more concise the terms of the contract are, the less chance there will be for the purchaser and seller to end up in litigation because something not anticipated has occurred.

    Purchaser’s Attorney:

    The purchaser’s attorney will advise his/her client to have a building engineer’s inspection done before entering into a binding contract of sale. Based on the results of that inspection, the attorney may recommend further inspections such as termite, lead, mold, environmental, etc.

    If you are applying for a mortgage the attorney will explain the mortgage contingency provisions in the contract and how some of these conditions may adversely affect you unless modified, such as a mortgage commitment that requires you to pay down your outstanding debt, sell your current residence, or the like.

    If you are paying a good portion of the purchase price from your own savings, and applying for a small mortgage, it is wise for your attorney to modify the seller’s contract of sale to provide that if the appraised value of the house is less than the purchase price, you have the option to terminate the contract and get your down payment back. The appraisal is part of the mortgage commitment process and is ordered by your lender.

    Seller’s Attorney:

    The seller’s attorney prepares the Contract of Sale containing the pertinent details of the proposed transaction.

    If the sale is the sale of a cooperative apartment or a condominium, the seller’s attorney must obtain a copy of the offering plan (also called the prospectus) and all the amendments to that document which have been issued since the condominium or cooperative was formed. These documents in conjunction with the condominium or cooperative’s financial statements for the last couple of years must be delivered along with the contract of sale to the purchaser’s attorney for review.

    Commercial Leases:

    Commercial leases are complex documents with both sides (the landlord and the tenant) trying to get as many points in their favor as they can. A commercial lease is prepared by the landlord’s attorney and delivered to the tenant’s attorney for review. Since the landlord’s attorney drafted the lease, most of the terms and conditions will be in favor of the landlord. From a tenant’s perspective it is important to have a seasoned attorney review the lease because he/she is well aware of pitfalls that are implicit in commercial leases and will try to negotiate these negative aspects out, or, at the very least, negotiate terms which are less detrimental to the tenant.




    I initially retained Mary Jane McPherson in 1993 when I became involved in a real estate transaction with a close friend. Although my friend and I started the transaction with the best of intentions, it quickly became a disaster. Through Ms. McPherson’s negotiating skills and humanistic approach, I came out of a difficult situation unscathed. Since that time, Ms. McPherson has represented me with regard to several real estate transactions, health care proxy, living will, durable power of attorney and a last will and testament. Whenever I retain Ms. McPherson I know I am in good hands. I have never doubted her judgment and I appreciate the fact that she treats her clients like they are members of her own family.

    Marcia M., Park Slope, NY

    I met M.J. McPherson about 15 years ago when she was the attorney for the seller of an apartment I was buying. I was so impressed with her professionalism that I decided that, going forward, she would be my attorney. She has done our wills, health care proxies, and all other estate planning documents. But more than that, she has been available for phone consultations whenever we needed advice. I have recommended M. J. McPherson whenever a NYC friend has needed the services of an attorney. Perhaps more than any other professional person I have worked with over the years, M.J. is someone I think of as a friend as well as my attorney.

    Phyllis, NYC

    579 74 Street | Brooklyn | NY 11209 | phone: 718-491-9270
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