Question Details

Grace, Home Buyer in New Jersey

As the buyer, how long should a typical attorney review last?

Asked by Grace, New Jersey Thu Oct 4, 2007

I am a first time home buyer, and currently in my 10th day of attorney review in NJ. Any tips on what I or my agent should do to try to speed up the response from the seller's attorney? My attorney faxed our changes on day 4 of attorney review. (The contract stipulated 7 days for attorney review)

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Your agent can contact the sellers agent and ask him/her to reach to the sellers attorney.

You and your agent can contact your attorney and ask him/her to reach to the sellers attorney.

While I won't reach to the attorney on the opposite side of a transaction to engage in discussion on a matter, I will reach to the attorneys office to find out if a response has been issued and request of copy of the same. Sometimes attorneys forget to fax a copy to the agent. If the attorney simply hasn't gotten to it yet, the call then serves as a reminder.

As Diane indicated, NJ real estate code provides for 3 days for attorney review. It may be concluded sooner, or extended by the attorneys. It is unusual for the terms of sale contract to have stipulated 7 days. What was the reason for that? Was it known that the sellers attorney would be away?

I would never make an accusation, but all possibilities need to be considered. Is is possible that the sellers wanted a longer review because they might get another offer, or be shopping yours? I certanly do not want to imply that is going on, but you might want to evaluate whether that might be a possiblty.

good luck!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 1, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
HI Grace,
I just read a few other posts of yours. Is this new construction? I am thinking it might be and that might be why you have a 7 day review. Also, if it is builder, sometimes the review does take longer. Reveiws can take longer. I have had reviews take a few weeks. While not often, it can happen.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
In NJ, typical attorney review is 3 days; however, any length is possible. All issues in the contract and addendums have to be agreed upon by both buyer and seller. Who set it up for a 7 day review? Was one attorney out of town?
I would have your attorney find out what the hold up is on the sellers' side. Your attorney may already know. Have your agent talk to the sellers' agent and see if anything can be discovered--have any other offers come in?
someone will know what the hold up is. It has not been unusual for multiple offers to come in on contracts in my market area. We started last December with bidding wars. Get out of review asap!
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
I wasn't sure if it was possible for my agent to intervene, or just my attorney. I know that the seller's agent contacted our agent thinking that our attorney did not submit any addendums, but that was false. My attorney refaxed the addendum on day 10. There seems to be a breakdown in communication on the seller's attorney's end. I will take your suggestions and speak with both my attorney and my agent. But, as a first time buyer, this has my husband and I going crazy!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
Hi Grace,

Your contract stipulates a 7 day attorney review. Unless an extension is requested in writing, and granted, it should have ended at the end of the 7th day.

If issues are still being ironed out, it is not uncommon for an attorney review to be extended; it does not mean the end of a deal, especially if both sides are working together. Sometimes, schedules get in the way and extra time is just needed.

In your case, what is the hold up? Do you know if a request for an extension was made? Were the changes your attorney faxed inspection-related or simply contract language modifications?

Has your attorney called the other attorney to follow up? It is not really good practice for your agent to call the other side's attorney; she should be communicating with your attorney and pressing him to press the other side on your behalf.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2007
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