Step 9 to Selling Your Home: Consider Hiring a Real Estate Attorney

April 25, 2024

Step 9 to Selling Your Home: Consider Hiring a Real Estate Attorney

While you are not required to have a real estate attorney represent you in South Jersey, we recommend it - especially if the other party has retained an attorney.  As your real estate agent and REALTOR®, I cannot give you legal advice. Only an attorney can.

WHAT DOES THE ATTORNEY DO?

Usually the attorney will do the following, however, verify that your attorney will do all of the below before hiring him/her:

  • Review the contract to ensure all terms are clear.
  • Prepare and review letters to negotiate and establish final terms of the contract during the attorney review period and upon completion of the home inspection.
  • * Should any “clouds” appear on title, Seller’s Attorney will trouble shoot these items so that a “clear” title can be provided to the required parties.
  • Order a payoff on any outstanding loans on the property.  The funds needed to pay off the loan will then be sent via over night mail service the day of the closing to the appropriate party. 
  • Preparation of all the necessary legal documents which include the Affidavit of Title, Power of Attorney, 1099 Statement, Warranty Deed and Closing Statement
  • Schedule the closing date, time and location with the title company.  Provide email notification to all parties of the closing date, time and location.
  • Attend closing to finalize the transaction between the parties, resolve any remaining unresolved contract issues, review and sign “Settlement Statement” on Sellers behalf.

Single Family Home, Townhome or Multi Dwelling Building- Additional Services provided:

  • Order and provide Zoning Certification.
  • Order and provide Building Registration (only applicable to buildings with 5 or more units).

The above list is IF everything goes perfectly. If it doesn’t and the contract needs to be canceled, earnest money needs to be refunded, etc. the attorney will handle these items as well, usually for no additional charge.  This is why it’s crucial to have a good Real Estate attorney as part of your team.

HOW MUCH DOES THE ATTORNEY COST?

Typically, a real estate attorney charges between $950 – $1500.  We have seen some collect a retainer and bill if the deal cancels. However, most of the attorneys we work with collect their fee at closing. 

Ask us for our list of recommended Real Estate Attorneys!

Once you’ve decided to retain an attorney, please let us know.  This should be done BEFORE a contract comes in Pennsylvania and within the 3 day attorney review period in New Jersey.  That way you know who your attorney is going to be once we have an executed contract.   It’s all about putting together a great team which consists of your REALTOR® (us), your lender and your attorney.


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