Do I Need to Hire An NJ Real Estate Attorney?
Buying or selling a home in New Jersey is a complicated process, involving a lot of money and many different important factors. An experienced real estate attorney can help you through every step of the real estate closing process, making sure every consideration has been accounted for and there will be no surprise issues later on.
The Attorney Review
The first step of the real estate closing process is the attorney review, a 72-hour period in which the contract between the buyer and seller can be changed with the mutual agreement of both parties, or either party can walk away from the deal without penalty. The purpose of the attorney review is to ensure that the contract contains everything the buyer or seller will need for that specific property. During the attorney review period, an attorney will assist with many responsibilities, including but not limited to:
- Reviewing or negotiating the contract, making sure it is complete and legally sound.
- Ensuring that all necessary inspections are requested in the contract, such as:
- A general home inspection
- A lead paint inspection
- A termite inspection
- An asbestos inspection
- Identifying any additional documentation the buyer may need, including:
- A certificate of occupancy
- Buried oil tanks
- Well testing
- Flood search
- Septic certification
- Smoke detector certification
After the attorney review and mortgage process are complete, the closing itself takes place. The closing usually consists of a single meeting between the buyer and seller where all documents are signed and the buyer pays the remainder of the purchase price. Before this meeting, two things must happen:
- The attorney runs a title search to ensure that no liens or other issues affect the property, and confirm that the seller has the right to sell the property.
- A final walkthrough of the property is conducted to ensure that no conditions have changed since the process began, and all agreed upon repairs have been completed.
What Other Legal Issues Can a Real Estate Attorney Help With?
Many issues can come up during a real estate closing that can be difficult to predict. For example:
- A problem with the property may exist that must be addressed before the closing is complete.
- You may be unsure if part of your property is shared by a neighbor.
- You may need appropriate legal grounds to break the deal.
- The seller may be attempting to break the deal under suspicious circumstances.
- An inspection agreed upon in the contract was not carried out properly, or a problem occurs after the closing which should have been addressed beforehand.
- You may want to see if a future addition on the house will comply with local zoning ordinances.
At Himelman & Himelman, we are experienced in all aspects of New Jersey home buying. Contact us today to discuss how a NJ real estate attorney can help guide you through this process.