As a real estate agent I often get asked from buyers or sellers should I hire an attorney? In NJ having an attorney is not required. There is a difference in how closings are handled in North Jersey versus South Jersey. If you are in North Jersey it’s customary for an attorney to handle everything in the transaction including title search and handling the closing. If you’re in South Jersey title companies typically handle the closing and title work. Regardless of what part of NJ you are buying or selling a home, here is my list of 5 reasons you should consider hiring an attorney.
- Real estate agents can’t give legal advice. Real estate agents can go over the contingencies of a contract but they can’t give legal advice. Only an attorney can advise you on legal matter.
- Inspection Negotiations. Attorneys can help in negotiating acceptable inspection terms. Often a well drafted letter from an attorney can be more well received if it is coming from an attorney rather from an agent or home buyer or seller.
- Review of contract terms. Your real estate agent will most likely be using standard New Jersey Association of Realtors contract forms. These work well for most homes however every home and circumstance is unique. It’s wise to have an attorney review the terms of the contract during the three day attorney review period once the contracts are fully signed. During this time an attorney can cancel, or revise a contract on behalf of a home buyer or seller.
- Review of contract deadlines. Attorneys will also help keep track of important deadlines in a real estate transaction to help ensure your agent does not miss any important deadlines.
- Problems at the closing table. At the day of closing there can be problems. In my experience there are two common problems. The first is the seller not moving out all their personal items in time for closing and the second is repair issues. Sometimes a new repair issue is discovered at closing. For example the air conditioning is not working properly. An attorney can help successfully negotiate agreeable terms for the buyer and seller and make sure they are legally protected if such a problem would occur at closing.
We have worked fantastic attorneys. We would be happy to recommend one to you depending on your location and circumstances. Contact us and we’ll be happy to recommend an attorney for you.