Knowledgeable South Jersey Real Estate Lawyer Assists Clients with Contract Disputes
When you are looking to buy or sell property – whether it’s your primary residence, a vacation home, an investment property or some other type of real estate – you will likely need to enter into a contractual agreement with another party. The contract will outline the financial obligations of both buyer and seller and include any other parts of the agreement such as inspections, items to be included in the sale, terms and conditions of the deal and more.
When it goes the way it should, your experienced real estate lawyer will guide you expertly through the transaction from offer to closing. However, when something goes awry and there is a real estate contract dispute, you need to contact a skilled, knowledgeable real estate attorney like Joel R. Spivack, Esq. With more than 25 years of experience assisting clients in Camden County and throughout South Jersey, Mr. Spivack has the foresight to spot contract discrepancies before they become real stumbling blocks. Further, if there is a bump in the road, you will have the full benefit of his contract negotiation experience on your side of the transaction. Contact our law firm today for a legal consultation, for a small fee at 856-488-1200.
Why You Need a Knowledgeable Real Estate Lawyer to Draft Your Contract
In New Jersey, the law does not require buyers and sellers to hire a real estate attorney to draft a real estate contract. A realtor can use a fill-in-the-blank contract form if the parties so choose. Once the parties sign the realtor-prepared contract, and have it reviewed in a three-day attorney review process, it will be a valid, binding contract.
Deciding not to get an attorney involved during the drafting of your real estate contract is a very bad idea, for many reasons.
A contract is a legal document. A savvy consumer understands that legal transactions need the expertise of a legal professional. Consider that if you need heart surgery you look for a cardiac specialist. If you need your car repaired, you find a reliable auto mechanic. In neither of these cases should you just trust another person who could get the job done, but would do it without the education, knowledge and experience of a professional specifically in real estate law.
In other words, when you were looking to buy or sell, who did you call? You called a realtor! A realtor provides expertise during the selling and buying phase of the real estate transaction. Once the conversation turns to legalities, it’s time to bring in a real estate lawyer like Joel R. Spivack, Esq.
A real estate contract must be comprehensive. In the state of New Jersey, a real estate contract must include certain pieces of information. This list includes the names of the parties, the purchase price and any other financial details related to the sale (and how these funds will be paid and transferred), the proposed date of the closing, the type of title that will be transferred, realtor’s fees, and any other relevant information that either the buyer or seller feels is important enough to get agreement on during the attorney review phase of the contract.
Additionally, the contract should fully outline all related items that impact the sale of the property. This includes any lien issues, disclosure statements, inspections including termite and other pests and property inspections, information relating to local and county required documents such as a Certificate of Occupancy, possession of fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide detector, etc.
Why leave such an important task in the hands of someone who will use a template form? Your realtor did their job extremely well; they found you property or a buyer. Now, since your transaction has specific nuances and issues that pertain to you and your buyer/seller, you need to rely on Mr. Spivack to make sure each and every one of these items is spelled out and accounted for in the contract. A lawyer will protect your rights every step of the way of the deal.
Experience is the best teacher. Mr. Spivack has been assisting clients in Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Medford, Mt. Laurel and throughout South Jersey buy and sell property for over 25 years. There are few things he hasn’t seen in the countless transactions he has been involved with; this experience allows him to have incredible foresight to see challenging issues before they even arise. Mr. Spivack is a firm believer that looking down the road and eliminating would-be deal-breakers is an important part of a real estate attorney’s job. He bring this expertise to each and every transaction.
Experienced Attorney Protects Your Rights in a Real Estate Contract Dispute in Moorestown, Medford, Mt. Laurel and throughout Camden County, NJ
Can the buyer or seller just decide to walk away from the real estate contract? This happens far too often. A buyer or seller signs a binding real estate contract and changes their mind, for any number of reasons. Can they do this, leaving the other party without a buyer or home? This is known as breach of contract and it is not permitted by law. Real Estate lawyer Joel Spivack will advise you about your right to file a breach of contract lawsuit. He will help you prove in court that the other party’s decision to materially breach the contract caused you to be denied the main substance of the contract (the house). He will work to make sure the other party is held responsible for the damage they’ve caused you.
Disputes that arise when the real estate contract was inappropriately drafted: If your contract did not include all of the items required by New Jersey real estate law, you may very well have problems during the transaction. For example, if you were supposed to disclose information about the property but your contract doesn’t call for this required disclosure, your buyer may be able to walk away from the deal leaving you in the lurch.
Disputes that arise when there isn’t a clear title or the buyer can’t get a mortgage: During the attorney review process, issues like how the title and mortgage will be obtained should be outlined clearly in the contract. Even when these issues are discussed by attorneys, problems do arise. Sometimes a title search reveals a judgment the seller forgot about. Or, the buyer’s mortgage can fall through for any number of reasons, including the buyer lost his job. Again, this may be a material breach of contract if the buyer can’t go through with the transaction at all. Or, if the transaction must be delayed, it could be considered a repudiated breach of contract because the seller will likely lose money or suffer other damages due to the delayed closing.
Misrepresentations about the property or land: If the seller provided a disclosure statement, but misrepresented critical information to the seller, there very well could be a contract dispute. For example, let’s say the seller claims there have never been termites on the property. However, an inspection and some research proves the seller knew about the problem and failed to disclose it. Damage to the property can be a serious sticking point that could stop the transaction in its tracks.
Boundary disputes: If fence around the property is actually on the neighbor’s land, or a shed or pool was installed too close to the property line, serious real estate litigation can be the result.
Removal of items from the property before closing: The real estate contract will include what assets are going to remain in the home for the buyer’s use as part of the deal. Often, these items include, but are not limited to, washer and dryer, refrigerator, pool accessories, window coverings and even furniture. If the seller removes these items from the property, the buyer has a right to claim breach of contract. This breach of contract, however, would not be considered a material breach, but an anticipatory or repudiation breach of contract. This means that the buyer wasn’t denied the full substance of the benefit of the contract (the house and property) but was denied part of what was agreed to in the contractual obligation. Mr. Spivack can assist in getting the buyer, in this type of case, payment for the items they did not receive.
Home construction/contractor disputes: If you are building new construction, the real estate contract with the developer is an extremely important document. It’s no doubt comprehensive in terms of how it lays out the rights and responsibilities of both the builder and you, the buyer. If the contract calls for a specific completion date, and the builder fails to meet those deadlines, they may be in breach of contract. Similarly, if they agree to upgrade appliances, for example, or build a three car garage but you wind up with a builder’s grade fridge or a two-car garage, that may also be considered breach of contract. Mr. Spivack will hold the contractor responsible for failing to live up to its part of the contract.
In addition, land use issues, improperly applied variances, leasing disputes and all breach of contract challenges require the guidance of a lawyer who puts clients first. Joel R. Spivack will fight for your rights, whether you are the buyer or seller. While it’s best to have a good lawyer on your side from Day 1 of a real estate transaction, Mr. Spivack is often called in to consult on or lead cases where the contract disputes are already in motion. He has had much success turning around a sinking ship and getting the transaction to the closing table in even the most difficult of circumstances.
Contact Joel R. Spivack for a Consultation about Your Camden County Real Estate Contract Dispute Today
There is a statute of limitations regarding bringing a real estate contract dispute lawsuit. In New Jersey, if you believe the other party is in breach of contract or you learned they committed fraud, you have six years to file a lawsuit against them. Mr. Spivack will assist you in fighting for your rights, whether you are the buyer or seller.
Contact his Cherry Hill, NJ office today for a confidential consultation, for a small fee, about your real estate transaction.