Attorney Review Period | WHAT????

Cori Dunphy
Published on June 1, 2020

Attorney Review Period | WHAT????

What is an attorney review period and why should you care?  Whether you’re buying or selling you NEED to know.

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An attorney review clause is required in every Contract prepared by a real estate agent in New Jersey. But what really is it?  Let’s take a look.

You finally found a home and you put in your offer.  It was negotiated through your agent and now you are ready to enter into the period known as attorney review.

Let the fun begin!

This clause allows the Buyer and Seller to choose an attorney of their choice,  to study the Contract and make modifications to its terms. If an attorney is consulted, the lawyer is supposed to begin the process within 3 days.  There is a HUGE misconception that the entire process has to be completed in 3 days.  What the majority of people do not realize.  Once a contract is signed by both the seller and the buyer there is a 3 days period to get the contracts to both attorneys and begin the process.  If you sign the contracts and do “nothing” with them, they become legal and binding after 3 days.  Did you hear what I said, if you sign a contract and forget about it, you can be held to that contract!   But don’t worry to much about this, most realtors understand and get the contracts to the lawyers asap!  In my 17 years of selling houses in Monmouth County, I have never personally seen that happen!

So Let’s break it down

Attorney review is the period that a buyer/seller’s attorney has a chance to review the agreed upon contract and make changes for the benefit of their client.  The Terms range from inspection issues, if there are any required contingencies, place of closing, where the deposit is being held, etc.  This period is meant to bind the parties under the terms of the contract. During this period, the parties are not binding to one another and that is why it is important to have an attorney that you can trust to get you in and out of the attorney review process and yet advocate for the client’s best interest.  

The attorney reviews the contract and makes changes for the benefit of their client.  The terms range for inspection issues, if there are any required contingencies, place of closing, where the deposit is being held, and so on.  This period is meant to bind the parties under the terms of the contract. 

Buyers get very excited when they make an offer on a house.  They are even more excited when attorney review.  This period can be extremely stressful.  Sometimes negotiations get a little sticky.  Buyers also have to realize that in the state of New Jersey, until a house is officially Under Contract, the home will continue to be shown.  A house is not considered Under Contract until the conclusion of the attorney review period. 

So what that means, the parties are not binding to one another at all during attorney review and that is why it is important to have an attorney that you can trust to get you in and out of the attorney review process and yet advocate for the client’s best interest. Once the period of attorney review ends, the house is officially under contract and you can move onto the next phase, inspections!

Who you choose as your attorney to represent you in the buying or selling of a home is also a big decision.  There are definitely things you should look for when hiring an attorney.  I have a video coming out in a few weeks on how to pick the best attorney to represent you in a real estate transaction.  

 Did you know that the attorney review period is just one small piece of the buying and selling process? There are so many different parts, to a real estate transaction.  

This is definitely a reason you need to work with a knowledgeable and experienced agent.   If you are thinking of buying or selling and would like to get a jump on a local real estate attorney in our area, please comment below.  I would be more than happy to put you in touch with someone that I know, like and trust 100% to have your back .

So, there you have it!  Do you feel a little more prepared to enter into the attorney review period when you are buying or selling a house? I sure hope so!

See YOU, next Monday!

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