AGMB maintains a full-service residential real estate practice group dedicated to smart, practical and cost-effective counsel. We represent clients who seek the sophistication of a large law firm and the attention of a “personal” lawyer all bundled in a cost-conscious, result-focused package. AGMB has extensive experience in all phases of residential real estate transactions, including acquisitions and sales and lease negotiations. We work as a team and are therefore available to our clients twenty four hours/seven days. Our closing process involving a typical acquisition and sale transaction is detailed below.


Residential Real Estate Purchase Process

Who we are:

Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP is a full-service national law firm dedicated to smart, practical and cost-effective counsel. We represent clients who seek the sophistication of a large law firm and the attention of a “personal” lawyer – all bundled into a cost-conscious, results-focused package.

What we do:

Purchase Closing Process

  1. Due diligence: review of board minutes, building financials, offering plan and other important documents
  2. Negotiation of contract of sale
  3. Title and lien search
  4. Coordination of loan commitment
  5. Preparation for closing
  6. Attendance at closing, review and execution of closing documents
  7. Post-Closing file delivery

How we work:

  • We work as a team and are therefore available to our clients 24/7. Our overriding mission is based on “respurgency”, the combined qualities of being immediately responsive and taking all actions necessary with a sense of urgency. Although there are things we cannot control, our responsiveness, professionalism and knowledge are things we can.
  • Purchasing a home should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience! From the moment we receive a file, we guide our clients and strive to create a smooth, non-adversarial transaction.

Residential Real Estate Sales Process

Who we are:

Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP is a full-service national law firm dedicated to smart, practical and cost-effective counsel. We represent clients who seek the sophistication of a large law firm and the attention of a “personal” lawyer – all bundled into a cost-conscious, results-focused package.

What we do:

Sale Closing Process

  1. Preparation and negotiation of contract of sale
  2. Title and lien review/clearance
  3. Coordination of payoff information
  4. Preparation for closing
  5. Attendance at closing, review and execution of closing documents
  6. Post-Closing file delivery

How we work:

  • We work as a team and are therefore available to our clients 24/7. Our overriding mission is based on “respurgency”, the combined qualities of being immediately responsive and taking all actions necessary with a sense of urgency. Although there are things we cannot control, our responsiveness, professionalism and knowledge are things we can.
  • Purchasing a home should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience! From the moment we receive a file, we guide our clients and strive to create a smooth, non-adversarial transaction.

Foreign Buyers

The purchase of property in the U.S. has its own set of customs and foreign investors should be aware of these customs and practices. Specific to Manhattan real estate, where a significant percentage of the residential property is cooperative property, a foreigner must come to terms with the concept of owning shares of stock in a corporation rather than bricks and mortar. In addition, cooperatives are free to reject sales and rentals of units based on the cooperative board’s review of the purchaser’s financial and personal application (although cooperative boards may not discriminate against a purchaser on the bases of certain categories protected under law, including race, color, gender, religion, etc.). The cooperative as well as the condominium form of ownership also bear important tax consequences to the foreigner.

A foreign investor therefore has many considerations to make prior to consummating an acquisition transaction. One of the most important decisions will be deciding which of the different structure options to select in which to purchase the asset. For example, the foreign investor will need to decide whether to conduct the real estate business in the U.S. as an individual owner, as a member of a limited liability company or as a shareholder of a domestic or foreign corporation. A foreigner may also acquire property in a trust, as part of an inheritance or as a gift, or might own fractional pieces of property through a partnership.

To meet the needs of each individual, it is important to consider how any purchase is structured. Therefore, it is extremely important for foreign investors to work with a qualified team of legal, accounting and brokerage/valuation professionals who as a team understand the interplay of the relevant tax laws of the foreigner’s home country as those of the United States. The goal of the professional team should be to assist the purchaser in facilitating the most efficient investment, accounting and tax structure in the purchase transaction.

Matters AGMB’s Attorneys Will Cover With Foreign Buyers

  • Entity Choice Options (Individual, LLC, Corporation, Trust)
  • U.S. Tax Considerations and Reporting Obligations (Income, Estate and FIRPTA)
  • Purchase Closing Process
      • Due diligence: review of board minutes, building financials, offering plan, house rules
      • Negotiation of contract of sale
      • Title and lien search review
      • Coordination of loan commitment
      • Preparation for closing
      • Attendance at closing, review and execution of closing documents, post-closing document delivery

Additional Resources

Download AGMB – Tips for Agents Representing Foreign Buyers (PDF)
Download Planning Guide For Foreign Acquisition Of U S Real Property (PDF)


Closing Costs Guide

This closing costs guide is designed to provide you with the general costs associated with the sale or purchase of a cooperative, condominium or house. Please note that these are estimates only and that potential sellers and purchasers MUST consult their real estate attorney for specifics. Please also note that we do not represent that the information herein represents the entirety of potential costs but is only to be used as a guide.

Download the Closing Costs Guide (PDF)


Commercial Transactions

AGMB offers a full-service commercial real estate department that takes great pride in providing their clients with the power to make knowledgeable decisions concerning their business and individual needs. Our team combines decades of commercial real estate experience with professional backgrounds in law, accounting, commercial brokerage, property management, planning and development.

A significant part of our commercial real estate group involves representing both tenants and landlords in commercial lease negotiations. Additionally, we represent our clients in restructurings, reviews and audits in addition to real estate acquisitions, dispositions, construction contracts and due diligence advisory services. Having sat on all sides of the negotiating table, the team of commercial real estate professionals has an increased business understanding of the mindset of all parties to a transaction, and consequently, a competitive edge that will only enhance our client’s bargaining position. Other areas of expertise consist of commercial and residential real estate closings, including the representation of lenders in loan transactions and the representation of various national entities in leasing and sale transactions.

For more information on the services AGMB offers regarding commercial leasing transactions, please click on the “Leasing Transactions” link below.


Leasing Transactions

AGMB offers a free lease analysis and consultation of your commercial lease and recent rent escalation statements, as well as other office, retail and industrial leasing concerns.

AGMB’s team of professionals provides strategic representation and consultation to tenants (and landlords as well), including but not limited to:

  • Lease preparation, review and negotiation
  • Lease Proposals and Letter of Intent Negotiations
  • Commercial Brokerage: Representation for securing new office or retail space or negotiating lease renewal business terms
  • Negotiations of Lease Restructurings, Modifications, Workouts and Terminations
  • Short and Long Term Rental Relief Negotiations
  • Underwriting and analysis of current lease rights and obligations
  • Review of escalation and pass through calculations for taxes, operating expenses, CPI and utilities
  • Advisory Services to businesses concerning their real estate alternatives
  • Lease abstracting
  • Acquisition and Disposition Sales and Advisory Services
  • Sale-Leaseback Transactions

We are confident that as a consequence of wearing many different professional hats over the past 25 years-whether that of an owner, developer, asset manager, general counsel, accountant, broker, CEO or CAO-our team brings to the negotiating table a competitive edge that the challenging times necessitate and demand.

Please contact us for a free consultation to see if our personal and sensible approach is the right fit for your individual and business needs.

Lease Negotiations & Advisory Services

AGMB prides itself on providing its clients with the power to make knowledgeable decisions concerning their business and individual needs. As Larry Haber has sat on all sides of the commercial leasing negotiating table, we firmly believe that AGMB has an increased business understanding of the mindset of all parties to a transaction, and consequently, a competitive edge that will only enhance our client’s bargaining position in securing favorable legal and business terms. Combining decades of commercial real estate ownership with professional backgrounds in law, accounting, finance, commercial brokerage, property management, planning and development firms, Larry and his AGMB team can be the difference in helping you navigate the challenging times that lie ahead in your life or business.

Please contact us for a free consultation to see if our personal and sensible approach is the right fit for your individual and business needs.

Lease Restructuring

AGMB’s team of professionals provides strategic representation to landlords and tenants, including but not limited to:

  • Lease preparation, review and negotiation
  • Negotiations of Lease Restructurings, Modifications, Workouts and Terminations
  • Short and Long Term Rental Relief Negotiations
  • Underwriting and analysis of current lease rights and obligations
  • Review of escalation and pass through calculations for taxes, operating expenses, CPI and utilities
  • Advisory Services to businesses concerning their real estate alternatives
  • Lease abstracting

Please click here for a Mini-Summary of Lease Restructuring Strategies.

Please click here for a power point presentation of Lease Restructuring Strategies.

Due Diligence & Lease Audits/Reviews

When acquiring commercial real estate, the purchaser is essentially acquiring not only the physical property itself, but also the office, retail and/or industrial leases for such property. AGMB prides itself on performing comprehensive underwriting of a property’s underlying leases during the due diligence period. In short, our primary objective is to put our clients in a position to make an informed and educated decision as to the viability of a potential acquisition.

Abstracts of Office, Retail and Industrial Leases

A Lease defines the relationship between a landlord and tenant. It provides a detailed roadmap of the rights, obligations, and interactions between the parties. Leases are generally voluminous in terms of both length and content and are accompanied by many documents, all of which make up a “lease file.” At a minimum, the lease file should contain:

  • the lease itself
  • copies or originals of all amendments
  • legal and management correspondence between landlord and tenant estoppels
  • brokerage agreements
  • commencement date and work letters
  • exhibits
  • letter of credit (if applicable)

The challenges involved in organizing and understanding each essential provision of a lease and element of its file is imperative: a business’s success or failure could depend on the subtle contents imbedded therein. Consequently, a detailed analysis, or lease audit of the lease file is of utmost importance. A lease audit is comprised of a thorough review of the lease file, including, without limitation:

  • financial terms
  • legal terms
  • business terms
  • ancillary documents

Simultaneously with our formal review of the lease file, we prepare a lease abstract to fully summarize the financial, business, legal and technical terms of the lease, along with any unusual provisions. The lease abstract translates the comprehensive and convoluted terms from the lease into a concise and easy-to-read final product. The end result is a time-saving, customized tool that is designed to provide a convenient reference for a wide array of essential business activities. Whether used by your legal, accounting, property management, brokerage or administrative staff, AGMB strives to deliver an exceptional summary of the critical provisions of the lease to better enable your team to effectively and efficiently perform their duties.

Although the level of analysis varies depending on a client’s needs, lease provisions generally abstracted include:

  • lease term
  • base rent
  • additional rent (e.g., real estate, operating and CPI escalations)
  • free rent concessions
  • improvement allowances
  • outside construction dates
  • termination rights
  • security deposits
  • subletting and assignment
  • electricity and utility costs
  • hours of operation and providing of HVAC
  • use restrictions
  • renewal options
  • cleaning
  • insurance
  • late charges
  • guarantees
  • expansion options
  • parking
  • roof and signage rights
  • incentive programs available to tenant
  • freight elevator usage
  • the granting of a SNDA
  • existing issues of concern impact the lease (e.g., rental or repair defaults)

Estoppel Agreements

An estoppel agreement summarizes the basic financial and business terms of a lease at a date certain, and potential problems between the parties (e.g., defaults) are often contained therein. Generally prepared in conjunction with a refinancing or a purchase, the agreement can be for the benefit of the lending institution, the owner, a prospective purchaser and/or a tenant.

Please know that our experienced team of professionals are available to prepare, negotiate and review estoppel certificates if the need arises.

Review of Operating Expenses and Tax Escalation

With experience gathered from over 25 years of intimate exposure to leases, analyzed from many different professional perspectives, AGMB is well equipped to accurately and efficiently provide its clients the knowledge they need regarding how operating expenses and real estate taxes are impacting their lease. Our team is genuinely confident in our ability to convey to our clients a wealth of information, global perspective, and anecdotal tips about how operating expense escalations and real estate taxes influence how a lease functions and ultimately impacts a client’s bottom line!

AGMB strongly believes that an Operating Expense Escalation and/or Common Area Maintenance (“CAM”) Lease Audit and Review are indispensable aspects of our team’s services. Our preparation of a comprehensive and detail-oriented lease audit incorporates such analysis, and has the potential to greatly benefit our clients in the following ways:

  • Provide clients with information to efficiently manage their real estate portfolios;
  • Discovering unnecessary costs and overpayments/underpayments;
  • Recover unnecessary costs and overpayments/underpayments;
  • Save money over the long term of the lease;
  • Find disadvantageous contract language and eliminate it from future
    leases; and
  • Reduce payments the client is making.

All business and firms could benefit from acquiring an improved understanding of what should be in a lease, what should not be in a lease, what is currently contained in or absent from their current lease and how that impacts their bottom line. However, only those organizations that entrust AGMB’s elite team to produce a comprehensive lease abstract are putting their best interests forward on the path to enhanced financial success.