Closing without a Realtor is easy in states like New York where real estate attorneys are required for contracts. Closing without a Realtor is more difficult in states like California where real estate attorneys are not commonly utilized, and where Realtors help customers fill out standardized purchase agreements instead of customized contracts. What If I Already Have a Real Estate Lawyer? Then you’re in luck because you can easily close without a Realtor as long as you’re able to find a willing counterparty to transact with. In states like New York where both the seller and the buyer have their own attorney, real estate agents’ roles are confined largely to matching up buyers and sellers. Once a real estate agent has secured a non-binding, accepted offer on behalf of their client, the real estate attorneys take over and quarterback the rest of the transaction. Do Agents Do Anything After an Accepted Offer? In states like New York where real estate attorneys are required, brokers have a very minimal role to play after having matched up a buyer with a seller on price and basic terms. Keep in mind that an accepted offer is not binding until contracts are signed, so sometimes additional negotiation does happen before a buyer agrees to sign a contract. In fact, negotiating after inspection is a common tactic used by some savvy buyers to try to renegotiate the price or to get concessions from a seller after they’ve led the seller on with an accepted offer. However, negotiating after an accepted offer is an infrequent occurrence, and often times the lawyers will negotiate even the price after an accepted offer without needing assistance from the brokers. Agents do have more of a role to play if the transaction involves a co-op apartment. That’s because co-ops require purchasers to complete a board package and pass a co-op board interview. The buyer’s agent plays a key role in guiding the buyer through the co-op board approval and application process, and in reviewing and helping organize the buyer’s documentation. Lastly, remember that the agents will schedule and conduct the final walk-through before closing. What If Lawyers Aren’t Required in My State? If you live in a state where real estate attorneys are not typically utilized because purchase agreements are standardized forms, then it’s wise to either work with a Realtor or to hire a transaction attorney for a flat fee to oversee the transaction. You should easily be able to find a flat fee transaction attorney for under $1,000 to oversee the transaction, perhaps on behalf of both parties. Additionally, this transaction attorney can help the buyer order a title search, and can help hold the buyer’s earnest money check in escrow. Are you buying or selling in NYC? Learn how you can save money on your deal at www.hauseit.com. We’ve helped hundreds of New Yorkers just like you save millions of dollars in commission since 2014.