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Justin, Out of respect to all RE Pros and the public who participate, kindly remove this and any other plagiarized posts. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. In lieu of a copy/paste of another's original work, you could certainly reference this URL that you located that does a great job of explaining attorney reveiw by a NJ attorney. This would provide information for the public, adhere to community guidelines, show respect for the original author, be legally correct, maintain your personal credibility, and maintain the credibility of the Voices Board.
Here's some advice for you for the next contract you write:
Request that your agent get the contract through attorney review in a day. Good agents know what attorneys can do the job for them. The only gliche is that the sellers' attorney and the buyers' attorney must have a good working relationship to do this.
I'm sorry you were not aware of how the process works. Don't give up. This market is a bit crazy like that. In my area of South Jersey, bidding wars have been back since December 06. I've both won and lost deals for my clients--some having to pay over asking price to get the home they want. It makes it doubly hard for buyers agents because with all the negativity in the media, our clients tend not to believe it is so. Next time have your agent check with the listing agent to see what the activity/status is before you put in your contract. The listing agent will usually have an idea if another offer is coming in or not. Good luck!
I'm not sure I understand the timeframe of what you are asking, but I can tell you this: If the seller accepted your offer in writing (in other words, dated and signed the contract on which you wrote your offer and signed), he has a binding contract with you and cannot accept another offer without first canceling his agreement with you in writing -- even it is higher.
To cancel his agreement with you, it needs to be done within the allotted attorney/inspection review period (which should have been specified on the contract), or if a contingency went unmet (i.e., you were to obtain a mortgage within XX amount of days).
Without knowing more details, it's hard to advise you further. Would love to get more clarification!