Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or you an an old pro in the real estate game, it’s always a good idea to get a refresher course on the benefits of attorney review from the buyer’s perspective. Most of the time, the realtor uses a templated contract to list the purchase price and any requests from either side (inclusion or exclusion of appliances, or request to remove a trampoline, etc.)
that being said, when you hire Joel R. Spivack Esq. to represent you in your real estate deal, he will start from scratch making sure the contract protects you at every turn. He will negotiate diligently with the seller’s lawyer, to make sure there are no problems as the closing date nears. The first step of this negotiation process is called “Attorney Review.” This is a three-day period commences as soon as both the seller and buyer sign the contract. During the review period, both side’s lawyers review the contract and add/subtract to it as each sees fit (based on their respective client’s wishes and protective laws.) At the end of the review period, the lawyers must is sign off on the contract and, at that time, it’s a full-binding document.
Here are some things your buyer’s lawyer will want during the Attorney Review:
- Full Disclosure: You have every right to know everything the seller’s know about the property — including problems that were discovered and fixed. For example, if the basement repeatedly flooded but French drains were installed and that solved the problem, you have a right to know that issue existed.
- Repairs or Credit: If there is a problem with the property that is readily known Mr. Spivack can request that the buyer fix it or compensate you for it. For example, if the fence is rotting and falling down, you can request that the seller repair or replace it, or give you a credit at closing to cover the costs.
- Inspection Discoveries: One of the things Mr. Spivack will require the seller to agree to is a full inspection of the property. The buyer has to pay for this inspection but it’s well worth the expense. Any problems with the house or property unveiled in the inspection can be used as leverage for additional credits. If the seller doesn’t agree to fix or pay for significant problems, the buyer can walk away from the deal.
One important thing to note: while Attorney Review is three days, it often lasts longer. This is especially true if the process is started on a Thursday or Friday. The weekend usually won’t count as part of the three days. So, technically, even if the deal is done on Monday, it was a “four or five day review.” There are times when communication between the attorneys is difficult and/or both agree that more time is needed to work out the contract. As long as both lawyers are in agreement about the Attorney Review lasting longer, that is legally permitted.
Also, sometimes the review lasts for fewer than three days depending on the particular situation. For example, if both parties agree to everything and the attorneys are able to communicate quickly, attorney review can be done in as little as hours. That’s quite rare, though, because it takes too busy attorneys to negotiate and then contact their clients and once again get back in touch. That’s why the three-day rule is the norm. Once the preliminary real estate contract is signed by the buyer and seller, the document is reviewed by attorneys for both parties. Generally the attorney review takes three days, however it can be shorter or longer as long as both attorneys agree to sign off on the contracts.
Once the attorneys sign off on the review, the deal is officially “under contract.”
Contact Joel R. Spivack Esq. about your legal needs, when either buying or selling residential real estate, in Cherry Hill, NJ, and the surrounding communities.