Adventures in real estate, part 2: the lawyer who "phoned it in"
For at least the past 7 years or so, I knew where I wanted to move as soon as my ex-boyfriend and I could finally agree to sell our old place. It’s a great coop complex in the Bronx near my current boyfriend BG. I’d first seen it advertised when I picked up one of those free “real estate books” they had in a kiosk on Fordham Road. The two page ad blew me away right then and there.
A few years passed, and I became manic and almost bought a place there—even put down a hefty deposit and signed a contract. But I realized that paying a mortgage as well as maintenance, though do-able, would be more of a stretch than I’d feel comfortable about, and I was able to get my deposit back.
But S, the guy I dealt with at the coop’s management company, remembered me when I called him again after we’d finally put our Manhattan coop on the market last fall. He told me to call back when we went into contract, and call I did.
Soon enough S showed me the home of my dreams. I got all my paperwork in order. I was paying cash, so no mortgage hassle was involved. He did a credit check, and informed me that I had an A-plus score.
S had a list of several lawyers he worked with on contracts and closings, and gave me two names to choose from. I called B and we got down to business, or so I thought.
B’s fee was relatively modest, especially compared to the lawyer we retained for the closing of our place downtown. But that lawyer met with us in his office and sat down with us for at least an hour and went over the contract line by line. He was friendly, courteous, and a pleasure to work with.
No so with B. He, too, was pleasant enough at first, but seemed to need to justify his fees by exaggerating the importance of his role. In any case, I expected contracts to be sent to me in short order.
Unlike our lawyer for the sale of our place, B did not meet with clients for contract review. Rather, he would messenger me my copy, I would review it, we would discuss any questions I had by phone, and I would messenger it back to him.
Nevertheless, quite a bit of time went by with no contract in sight. When I told S a few days ago that I hadn’t received it as yet, he was, and I quote—“shocked.” Though B had told me that the seller’s lawyer hadn’t sent him anything yet, according to S he just hadn’t bothered to send a messenger to pick the papers up from the seller’s lawyer.READ MORE HERE