Part 2*: Who are the parties to a Residential Contract of Sale in New York?

An often overlooked but very important aspect of a residential contract of sale is the name of the parties. The Seller’s name on the contract should appear exactly as it does on the seller’s vesting deed. The Purchaser’s names may be more complicated.

There are several ways individuals may take title to real property in New York. The purchaser’s attorney may advise them on the difference between a joint tenancy with a right of survivorship (often abbreviated JTWROS), tenancy by the entirety (often indicated on the deed with the words “as husband and wife”) or the default tenants in common. Each type of ownership has pros and cons. For individual investors, a tenancy in common may be necessary if they will own different percentages.

In some cases, the Purchaser may wish to take title as a business entity. In New York, many purchasers set up a limited liability company to take title to real estate.

For estate planning purposes, some purchasers will take title as a trust. The trust may be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust may be used to avoid probate where the Purchaser’s principal residence is in another state. An irrevocable trust may be used to minimize estate taxes upon the Purchaser’s death.

*Thank you for taking the time to read this article. This article is part of our “From Contract to Closing; Demystifying NY Residential Real Estate” Series. Other aspects of residential real estate transactions in New York are discussed in other Parts of this series.

For questions about residential real estate law, or general information about our firm, please contact us at (914) 338-8050 or send an e-mail to We look forward to hearing from you.

Betensky Law PLLC
118 N. Bedford Road, Suite 302
Mount Kisco, New York 10549
(914) 338-8050

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