What Should Someone Discuss With An Attorney Before Buying Or Selling Residential Property In New Jersey?
When a client comes to me wanting to buy or sell their home, it’s my responsibility to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that the transaction moves along swiftly and effectively.
Many first-time home buyers may not know that, after the initial contract is signed, the clock is ticking to ensure that the parties complete the first portion of the closing by entering and concluding attorney review.
Once the initial contract is signed, the parties are going to enter into an attorney review.
Typically, a realtor presents the buyer or the seller with a standard contract, which is known as a statewide New Jersey Realtor Standard Form of real estate sales contract.
So it’s my responsibility to review the contract and ensure that the buyer’s interests are protected. Additionally, I will attach an addendum to the contract which contains specific or additional provisions that may have been discussed between the parties but may not have been included at the time the contract was signed.
I operate on a flat-fee basis, which means I will be paid once you close and have the keys in your hand, ready to move in.
After the attorney review is completed, the next step is the inspection contingency. There may be items of large importance that were missed upon the initial showing that could affect the status of the deal.
In real estate, the seller is required to produce the seller’s disclosure.
This document itemizes and creates a detailed list of issues with the home to the best of the seller’s knowledge. I ensure that my clients can reserve their right to have a licensed contractor inspect the property.
Then, the buyer will have anywhere from 10 to 14 days from the conclusion of attorney review to have that licensed professional inspect the property, issue a report, and request renovations or credit toward those renovations.
These inspections are limited to only structural, mechanical, hazardous, or environmental issues – which are the most important.
Then, there is the mortgage contingency aspect of the closing. A buyer is required to obtain a mortgage commitment within 35 days after attorney review.
If a client is unable or unsuccessful at obtaining a mortgage commitment through their specific lender, I will personally assist my clients in finding a new lender that may meet my client’s financial needs.
So that’s why it’s always my job and my responsibility as their attorney to ensure that their interests are always protected and that they understand each step of the process.