As you may know, in NJ we start with signed contracts (signed by buyer and seller) that then go through a 3 day attorney review, during which time either party can get out of the contract with no reason given.
The home is considered to be "under contract" once the attorney review is complete. The buyer then generally has 10 days in which they can have inspections done.
You ask a good question............as to whether the attorney review has to be complete in order for the contract to be considered "binding"., for the purposes of the buyer's credit.
I would tend to think that having the contracts fully signed and initialed would be enough, but I will check with a local attorney tomorrow, and find out for sure.
I will get back to you if I find out that the attorney review needs to be completed.
Prudential NJ Properties