Call a Real Estate Attorney For Attorney Review of Your Contract


The purchase of a house is probably the largest and most expensive purchase that you will ever make.  Therefore, it is extremely important that it be handled with the utmost care.  Attorney Thomas J Palmer has handled hundreds of real estate purchases and sales for both Buyers and Sellers throughout the entire state of New Jersey. 


A real estate transaction presents dozens of issues to deal with and keep track of during the process from contract to closing.  A real estate lawyer who has conducted hundreds of real estate transactions has the expertise and experience to identify and deal with these issues so that your interests are protected.  The legal fee to have an attorney represent you is relatively modest, and well worth it for all of the protections you will receive by having an experienced attorney represent you.  When you ask real estate attorney Thomas J Palmer to represent you with your home purchase or sale, you will have the confidence of knowing that he is looking out for you from the very start.  He will be protecting your interests from the time you sign the Contract, through your home inspection, title report and finally, at the closing table.  At closing, he will be sitting by your side, thoroughly reviewing and explaining all of your documents, and spotting issues which need to be corrected and addressed to protect your interests.


Summary of Steps in a Real Estate Transaction


1.  Sign Real Estate Contract.  The Buyer and Seller sign a Contract, typically prepared by a real estate agent.  The Buyer gives an initial deposit.


2.  Attorney Review.  The three day attorney review period begins when the fully signed Contract is delivered to both parties.  Both parties then have three days to have the Contract reviewed by their own attorney.


3.  Call Us to Review Contract.  You should immediately call real estate attorney Thomas J. Palmer to review your Contract.  The Contract is legally binding upon signing, but is subject to your right to have an attorney propose revisions or cancel the Contract on your behalf during the three day attorney review period.  Under the attorney review clause, only an attorney may cancel the Contract on your behalf.  Real estate attorney Thomas J. Palmer will thoroughly and carefully review the Contract to protect your rights.  Both the Buyer and the Seller have the opportunity to either accept, disapprove, or amend the contract.  If amended, the parties agree on final terms, or if they cannot agree, the deposit is returned.  Call us at (732)204-2112.


4.  Home Inspection.  During the next 14 days, the Buyer has a home inspection performed.  Some of the things inspected for include:


  • The presence of wood-destroying insects (such as termites and carpenter ants)
  • Major structural defects with the home, including roof, foundation and structural support
  • Problems with the major systems such as electrical, heating, cooling and plumbing
  • Functioning of major appliances
  • The presence of high levels of radon gas, mold or other contamination

Septic system and potable water (if applicable)

If the inspections reveal defects, the parties will try to resolve the issues through their attorneys.  If they cannot resolve the home inspection issues, then the Contract can be canceled and the deposit returned.  This is another reason why it is very important to have an experienced attorney review your Contract from the beginning.  Both a Buyer and a Seller risk a very unhappy result if the home inspection clause does not protect their rights.

5.  Apply for Mortgage.  After the home inspection is completed and any issues addressed, the Buyer applies for mortgage loan.  The Buyer is usually approved or rejected within 30 days.  If the Buyer cannot obtain a mortgage, then the parties may cancel the Contract pursuant to a special clause called a “mortgage contingency clause,” and the Buyer’s deposit is returned.

6.  Title Inspection.  The Buyer’s attorney obtains a title search, tax search and judgment search.  The attorney will insure that there are no liens on the property, or restrictions which unreasonably limit the normal use of the property.  The Buyer’s attorney can also assist the Buyer in obtaining a survey of the property.  The survey is intended to insure that the lot size and dimensions are in accordance with what the parties agreed upon, that all setbacks are appropriate and not in violation of any ordinances, and that there are no encroachments over property lines.

7.  Certificate of Occupancy or Smoke Detector Certificate.  If the municipality where the property is located requires a certificate of occupancy as a condition of sale, the Seller obtains the certificate.  In addition, under New Jersey law, the Seller must obtain a smoke detector certificate from the municipality in order to sell the property.

8.  Attend Settlement.  Both the Buyer and the Seller attend the “real estate closing,” also known as the “real estate settlement.”  This usually takes place at the office of the Buyer’s attorney or at the title company.

9.  Sign Documents.  At the settlement, the Buyer’s attorney reviews all of the loan documents with the Buyer and makes sure that the Buyer’s interests are protected.  The Seller’s attorney protects the interests of the Seller and prepares documents such as a Deed and Affidavit of Title.  Frequently, issues arise at the settlement table, and the attorneys assist with negotiating and resolving those issues.  The Seller delivers a Deed to the Buyer which conveys title to the property.  Finally, the Buyer tenders the purchase price.  This concludes the transaction.

10.  Time to celebrate!

When to Call Us For Attorney Review of Your Real Estate Contract


Call us as soon as your Realtor gives you the fully signed real estate contract.  Attorney Thomas Palmer will speak with you on the phone and ask you to email or fax your Contract to him.  He will carefully review your real estate Contract and then speak with you in detail to discuss any suggested changes to protect your rights.  During attorney review we will draft an Addendum to your real estate Contract.


Because your real estate transaction is probably the largest purchase or sale you will make in your lifetime, it is important to have the advice and counsel of a qualified and experienced real estate lawyer.  Have real estate attorney Thomas J Palmer by your side for the entire transaction.  Call us at (732)204-2112  to get started with attorney review of your real estate contract.