Attorney Review (Clause N.J.A.C 11:5-6.2)
An attorney review clause is required in every Contract prepared by a real estate agent in New Jersey. The clause allows the Buyer and Seller to choose an attorney to study the Contract and make modifications to its terms. If an attorney is consulted, the lawyer must complete the Contract review within three days. The three days are counted from the date of delivery of the signed Contract to the Buyer and Seller, depending on the last one to receive it. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays are not counted.
If either attorney disapproves the Contract, the attorney must notify the real estate agent and the other party named in the contract within the three day period. Otherwise the Contract will be legally binding as written. The attorney must send notice of disapproval to the real estate agents by email, certified mail, telegram, fax or by personal delivery. The email, telegram, fax or certified letter will be effective upon sending. The personal delivery will be effective upon delivery.
Although not required, the attorney may also inform the real estate agent and other party of any suggested revisions that would make the contract satisfactory in order for the transaction to continue.
NOTE: The Contract drawn by a real estate agent is only a proposed Contract. It does not actually take effect until the three day period has expired and then only if it has not been disapproved by the attorney for either side.
The review clause is specific about a three day period and how it should be counted. The count does not begin when the real estate agent or attorney receives the contract, but when the parties receive it.
For more information about Attorney Review, and if you have any questions about buying or selling a home or other real estate law questions, contact Anna-Maria Pittella, Esq. 732-842-6939.