Do I Need to Hire An Attorney For My Real Estate Closing in NJ?

May 6, 2019 | Real Estate Law

Do I Need to Hire An Attorney For My Real Estate Closing in New Jersey?

I get this question a lot, and while real estate transactions in New Jersey are very standardized and use the same purchase contract, there are many legal issues which may arise that your real estate agent will not be able to handle and legal representation might be a wise and necessary choice.

The process of buying or selling a house is complex and most people find it is easier to get through it with an attorney by their side. It is paperwork intensive and time sensitive documents can easily be overlooked and delay the process or even kill the entire transaction. It can be helpful to have someone familiar with the process to assist you in dealing with it. Other portions of the transaction such as inspections, negations over who pays for needed repairs, and maintaining communication with the seller via their attorney happen very quickly and an experienced attorney will be able to address them on a timely manner for you.

Here are some of the issue where having an attorney can save you a lot of headaches and money later on.

  1. The place you are purchasing has tenants whom you want to evict in order to rent the place to a friend. Will this work?
  2. What if the tenants are renting an illegal unit from the seller? How can this affect your ability to evict or rent in the future?
  3. What if you want to rent the home for an extended period of time, a year or two, before you buy it?
  4. You need help reviewing and understanding a co-op proprietary lease, or a new home contract drafted by the developer.
  5. You are purchasing the home with a private loan from a relative or friend.
  6. You are purchasing a property jointly with others and need to structure a co-buyer agreement and document how title will be held.
  7. You want to include an escalation clause which will give you the right to meet or exceed any competing offer that the seller receives.
  8. The seller is allowing you to move some of your belongings into the home’s garage or basement before the closing date. You will both want to clarify this is your property and how any damage to it will be addressed.
  9. You would like to make sure that any tenant currently in the home will be moving out before closing.
  10. You are giving the seller a ‘use and occupancy’ agreement. This allows the seller to retain possession of the home for a time beyond the closing, but you want to make sure the seller will pay you fair market rent for that time.
  11. Issues come up with title report such as a shared driveway between the property you are buying and the neighboring house, but this is not reflected in the tile.
  12. There is an easement or encroachment on the property not on the title. Let’s say the home you are buying the next-door neighbors and the seller have a verbal easement allowing the neighbors to access their car’s parking spot through the seller’s driveway. If you are the home buyer you might want to know exactly what your neighbor’s rights are, and the limits of those rights. You will also want to reduce this agreement to writing.

While the above is not a complete list of potential issues that can come up during a real estate transaction, it gives you an idea of the potential risks associated with the purchase and sale of real estate and why it might be a good idea to have legal representation for the transaction. The value of having a trusted and experienced real estate attorney on your side to help you navigate the transaction and advise you at every step of your transaction far outweighs the small cost of paying for legal representation in most real estate transactions. If you have any questions regarding the purchase or sell of your home please call my firm at 844.533.3367 to speak with a real estate attorney or visit to schedule an appointment online.

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