Grunfeld and Associates LLC
Call us toll free at
(888) 724-0407

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I still sell my home if I can’t find my Original Deed?

Yes, when you purchase your home, your Deed is taken by the Title Company to the County Clerk or Register’s office where your property is located to be recorded in the public records.  Once recorded, anybody who checks the records will see that you are the lawful owner of the property.  The original Deed is then returned to you.  Over the years, these Deeds are commonly lost.  Once recorded, however, you can sell or refinance your home without an original copy of your Deed.

Back to Top

I am selling now.  Will I have any closing costs?

Every time you sell Real Estate or a Co-Op in New York state, you are subject to Transfer Tax.  The amount of taxes vary by jurisdiction.  Contact us to find out how much tax you will have to pay.

Back to Top

What if I can’t make it to a closing?

If you can’t make it to a closing, we can prepare a Power of Attorney in which you grant authority to another person to sign documents on your behalf.  This document is also recorded in the County Clerk or Register’s office where your property is located to show that your “attorney in fact” was legally allowed to sign your name in your place.

Back to Top

I made a Power Of Attorney years ago, is it still good?

Legally, yes.  Unfortunately, most power of attorney forms do not contain a limiting clause that would render it ineffective once the transaction has ended.  These forms have been used years after the fact to commit fraud.  We can help you check if your old Power of Attorney is still effective and help you terminate it.  We also make sure that all new Power of Attorney forms contain a limiting clause so that they cannot be used again.

Back to Top

I’m buying a Condo.  Is that the same thing as a house?

Yes, under New York’s Condominim Act, a Condo Unit is the same thing as real property and you will get a Deed showing your ownership of the Unit

Back to Top

But, I’m buying a Co-Op.  Is there a difference?

The rules for Cooperative Apartments are different that those for other real property.  When you purchase a Co-Op, you are actually buying shares of the corporation that own the building.  These shares entitle you to the use of one of the apartments in the building.  You are given stock shares and a proprietary lease at closing.  These are not recorded, and, unlike a Deed, must be safeguarded as you will need the originals to sell your apartment.  If you have a mortgage, the bank will safeguard these items for you.

Back to Top

Do I still need that paperwork that my bank sent when I paid off my mortgage?

Yes!  While many banks will record a Satisfaction of Mortgage directly, many will send you the original Satisfaction directly, and it is your responsibility to have it recorded.  This is the only way to show that the bank no longer has a claim to your property.  A lost Satisfaction can delay a closing for weeks, if not months.  Make sure to bring all original satisfactions to a closing.  These documents are easily lost and hard to replace!  We can help you record these now, before they become an issue later.

Not sure if a Satisfaction was ever recorded?  We can perform a search to see if there are any liens against your property on the public records.

Back to Top

I refinanced a few years back, and I wasn't reprsented by an attorney.  I had bad credit at the time and I remember signing a Deed to my spouse.  How do I know who is the record owner of my property?

If you don’t have copies of everything that you signed, it would be best to order an Attorney search before you sell your property.  That way, there are no surprises that could delay a closing for weeks or months.

Back to Top

Deed Definitions – Joint Tenant / Tenants-in-Common / Tenants by the Entirety.

These terms are legal definitions that are on every Deed where more than one person or company owns a piece of real property.  They all have very specific meanings and very different outcomes.  Be careful which ones you choose.

Joint Tenant – This entitles each owner to 100% of the ownership of the property.  All owners are needed to sell the property.  When one owner dies, their entire portion of the property goes directly to the other owners, bypassing any Will or Estate that is put in place.

Tenants-in Common  - This entitles each owner to a stated share of the property.  If no percentage is stated, it will be assumed to be equal among all the owners.  Each owner may sell their share of the property and if an owner dies, they can Will their share of the property to another person, and the ownership share will pass through their estate to their heirs.

Tenancy by the Entirety – This form of ownership is only available to legal spouses.  It works the same as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship.  Upon the death of one spouse, full ownership automatically transfers to the surviving spouse and bypasses any Will or Estate.  This form is automatic for spouses unless another form is specifically stated.  This form is chosen using the phrases, “his wife, “her husband,” “husband and wife,” or nothing at all.  Once a marries couple divorces, this form of ownership automatically changes to Tenants-in-Common.

Needs change over time.  In all cases, if you want to change your form of ownership, you will need to prepare a new Deed.  We can help you prepare and record this.

Back to Top

My Deed does not have any of these terms, how do I know which applies?

If the owners are legally married when they buy the property, then ownership is assumed to be a Tenancy by the Entirety.

In all other cases, ownership is assumed to be as Tenants in Common, with each owner given an equal share.  If the owners later marry, this form of ownership does not change.

Needs change over time.  In all cases, if you want to change your form of ownership, you will need to prepare a new Deed.  We can help you prepare and record this.  Contact us today.

Back to Top

Note: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.