Real Estate

The Attorneys at Adams & Adams
have been representing residential home buyers and sellers
for over 25 years.

We are often asked to describe how an attorney can assist a buyer.

Be sure to review our tips on    Buyers Estimated Closing Costs.

It is important to consult an attorney to assist you in the process of buying a home. Purchasing a new home may be one of the largest financial investments you will make during your life time. It is very important that you understand the process and insure that the money you are spending is well spent. Before investing this money, you should consult with a seasoned real estate attorney.

Do I need an attorney to review the contract of sale?

The contract governs all of your rights and your responsibilities as you prepare to invest your money in this home. Therefore, it is essential that you understand what the contract says and what effect the language has on you and your rights. The text of the contract must reflect the deal you believe you have reached with the Seller. An attorney will explain each provision and help you think through the consequences. If you meet with an attorney for a review of the contract, you will be able to determine if you need to ask for clarifications in the text or changes. If you have reviewed the contract with an attorney before you sign, any changes needed can be accomplished in a friendly way.

Under the law of New Jersey, a buyer has a three day right of rescission during which time they may change their mind after signing a contract. This is commonly called the attorney review period. If you have signed the contract the only way to change or cancel the contract is for an attorney to disapprove the contract as written.

Do I need an attorney to buy my home?  Purchasing a new home may be one of the largest financial investments you will make during your life time.  It is very important that you understand the process and insure that the money you are spending is well spent.  Before investing this money, you should consult with a seasoned real estate attorney.  New Jersey is a “Buyer Beware” state which means that you must fully investigate the quality of the real estate and the title before you invest.  Once you buy the property it is your problem, unless there was a material defect in the property or the title which the Seller knew about and hid from you.  An attorney can assist you not only with your investigation of the home and the title and fight for you when problems arise.

When should I involve my attorney?  Do I need an attorney to review the contract of sale?  The sale contract governs all of your rights and your responsibilities as a buyer or a seller.  Your rights to investigate the property and most importantly to cancel the contract if it is not what you expected are governed by the contract you are signing.  The contracts prepared by realtors are very seller oriented.  Therefore, it is essential that you understand what the contract says and what effect the language has on you and your rights.  An attorney will explain each provision and help you think through the consequences.  If you meet with an attorney for a review of the contract, you will be able to determine if you need to ask for clarifications in the text or changes. If you have reviewed the contract with an attorney before you sign, any changes can be accomplished in a friendly way. If you have signed the contract before you meet with the attorney, the only way to change or cancel the contract is for an attorney to disapprove the contract as written.  Once signed, a buyer has a three day right of rescission during which time they may change their mind after signing a contract.  This is commonly called the attorney review period.

Once the contract is signed what will my attorney do for me?  Each transaction is unique, but the most common tasks involve the following:

  1. Help with the investigation of the property. Your attorney will help you obtain information about the property and then deal with the results of your site investigations and negotiate solutions or cancel the contract and get your deposit back if they are not acceptable to you.
  2. Help with the mortgage process. Your attorney will help you deal with the conditions set by your mortgage lender and satisfy those conditions so that the loan will be funded.
  3. Review and address title issues. The quality of the title you receive from the seller is the essence of what you are purchasing.  Your attorney will order your title and then review the results to insure that there are no loans or judgments against the property and that all of the taxes are paid current.  They will also insure that the easements and restrictions affecting the title are acceptable to you and that you understand the nature of any limitations on the use of your property.  Your attorney will be your advocate to insure you obtain clear title when you purchase the property.
  4. Review and address the survey and defects. You are purchasing a spot on the earth.  You should know what you own and the only way to do this is to obtain a survey.  Most mortgage lenders require this survey as a condition of the loan.  Whether your mortgage company requires this or not you should get one to insure there are no land disputes with your neighbors, that the structures on your land comport with the municipal and state regulations and that the amount of land you are getting is as represented by the contract.  Your attorney can help you understand the results of the survey and address any issues which arise.
  5. Attend settlement. The presence of your attorney at settlement is important to insure that all of the exceptions to your insurance have been addressed, that the mortgage conditions are satisfied, that the numbers are correct and that any problems that may arise are addressed at the table.

If you are contemplating the purchase of a home, the attorneys at Adams & Adams are ready to assist you.