Yes — you should hire a buyer’s broker to represent you. When you’re dealing with one of the largest investments you’ll ever make (in the near term), it makes sense to have someone on your side that will treat it as such. It makes even more sense when you begin to realize that a buyer’s broker doesn’t actually cost you anything, and is generally compensated by the commission split with the listing broker. A broker will be able to help you navigate through the entire search and purchase process. Finding you great listings that meet your needs is only part of it. They’ll submit your offers, negotiate the price and terms, connect you with lenders and lawyers, and prepare and submit your board package. Equally as important, a good buyer’s broker will always act in your best interest, and will act as a buffer between you and anything coming from the listing agent.
Getting a real estate lawyer is even more critical in NYC. Unlike other parts of the country, buyers here need to draw up a contract in order to finalize a sale, and unless you’re familiar with the law, this is going to be a steep hill to climb. Your lawyer will also be able to better advise you about potential concerns in your new building or home—noise complaints, building violations, and the like—as they go through the paperwork for that property. Typically both the buyer and seller in NYC have legal representation, and as a buyer, having a lawyer can ensure that you’re not getting fleeced by the seller. Fees for this type of work can range from $2,000 to $5,000.