Wednesday, May 9, 2007
a bit of a rant
Blogging is a form of therapy, right? Reflecting on our experience so far with the phenomena known as a real estate closing in NYC, I would have to say that I'm pretty appalled. New York requires that both the seller and the buyer use an attorney, which seems like a good idea, given all the red tape and convoluted record-keeping that can confuse the matter, especially when you're dealing with a building that is over 100 years old. So in addition to having a willing seller and a willing and able buyer, we've had 4 real estate professionals (two lawyers a mortgage broker and a real estate agent), plus the title company, working on getting this deal closed. They've been working on it now for 11 weeks, and counting. Amazingly, everyone keeps talking about how smoothly this process is going, saying things like "you can't make a closing happen overnight," and "this is just how things go." Well, I've been through closings in other states. Once I even waited 4 months while we cleared up right-of-way issues before a closing could happen. But 3 months for a smooth closing? My feeling is that the lawyer's attitudes and assumptions about how long the closing will take create a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, our lawyer didn't order the title search until a week before we were supposed to close--and then they found out there was no survey on the property. He didn't get around to ordering it sooner, because he figured there was no way we would close on April 30th (not that he told us that). So we didn't close on the 30th and the title work is still wrapping up. I guess the major lesson I've learned from this process is that you have to be your own expediter in situations like this. Leave the work to the professionals, but understand that they don't care about the timeline like you do. If you leave it all to them, you'll watch deadline after deadline pass you by.