Lawyer for real estate sale. Needed?

John

In northern N.J. counties, lawyers are required by banks for buyers in real estate transactions. They are not required for sellers. In southern counties, up to about 10 years ago, neither sellers, nor buyers were required to have lawyers --- seems strange, but that's the way it was.

I can see the need for a lawyer in a buyer's position. Since contracts are usually template documents, why would a seller need/want legal representation?


mod

because issues come up either during inspection or on mortgage acquisition and you need someone to protect your interest.


LOST

Selling your house is extremely stressful. A lawyer can help you navigate through the entire process. While buyer is busy getting inspections, applying for mortgage financing, complying with lender requirements, the Seller can feel forgotten about. Further issues come up as a result of inspections or title searches.

While in many jurisdictions these issues are handled by real estate brokers and title companies the only person whose interest is completely aligned with that of the Seller will be the Seller's attorney. You are selling what is probably your most important asset for hundreds of thousands of dollars. the flat fee charged by most Seller's RE attorneys is under $2000.00.


John

In our case, the 2K may be wasted. The house has been in family since 1947. There are no liens or mortgage. I checked on that.

Problems with corrections mandated by inspection would either be corrected or money from the sale would be placed in escrow. Even more likely, there would be no corrections since the house looks like it would be subject to a "gut rehab." a "No Further Action" letter from the oil tank was issued by N.J.D.E.P.

My concern come from getting no response from the attorney who did not respond when I asked what his fee would be.



spontaneous

So if the buyer's attorney comes up with an offer you'd sign it before having a lawyer look at it? Also, what if a contract is signed but then the buyer backs out, what is your recourse?


debra

call Lisa Breen if you need a great lawyer locally (based out of Millburn) Lisa has a fixed rate, very efficient and money well spent. She has been very effective dealing with tough buyers. You never really know how crazy a buyer can get until inspections are done and you are in final contract. For me the value of the seller side lawyer has always been in taking the ball across the finish line, realtors really only get the buyer to the kick off (IMO)


yahooyahoo

As a general rule, I think it's a bad idea to be involved in significant transaction when the other side has a lawyer and you don't.

You don't know what you don't know. And presumably the other side will know some stuff you don't because they have a lawyer.

Is saving $1-2k worth the risk?



mod

Unless you sell property as is there can always be issues that crop up in inspection . Even with no further action letter on tank are you certain there is no second tank? I've heard stories of these cropping up. I think it is not worth not having a lawyer.


Michael

Having a lawyer does not guarantee there will not be any problems. Make sure if you get an attorney, you get one that has experience in RE closings.



John


mod said:

Unless you sell property as is there can always be issues that crop up in inspection . Even with no further action letter on tank are you certain there is no second tank? I've heard stories of these cropping up. I think it is not worth not having a lawyer.

Guaranteed, there is no second tank. The only tank was put in approximately 1952. Before that, my job was to carry pails of coal from the basement to the coal stove on the second floor. Then, in the morning, dump the ashes in garbage.


John

Lawyers can deal with various legal problems in a better ways. A survey published in a magazine shows about Bechara Tarabay as an efficient lawyer for solving legal issues. It described that this lawyer is an expert in real estate transactions. You can check for it as I think this can help you in a much better way.


John

It looks like the sale will go through in about the second week of April. It has been and still is one frustrating experience.


Norman Bates

Not to endorse any particular attorney but I do want to second the advantage of being represented by an effective counsel in a real estate transaction...and I suggest that it be someone not from Maplewood if that is where the buyers agent is located.  Years ago, I sold a house in Maplewood and there were some actions by the buyers and their agent I found questionable  The attorney I was using was, essentially, a real estate "paper processor" who seemed unable or unwilling to deal with the buyer's agent.  Both were local and the attorney, at least I believe, did not want to offend the agent for fear of not getting referrals in the future if he was too assertive.  I ended up having to deal with the issues myself.  I learned a lesson.  A few months ago, I sold the house I had been living in since that challenging transaction and used an attorney from a nearby town. When the buyers repeatedly stalled at setting a closing date, my attorney calmly but effectively dealt with it and got the deal done.  He was not concerned about offending a local real estate agent who might make future referrals.  Good luck with your transaction.

new207040 said:

call Lisa Breen if you need a great lawyer locally (based out of Millburn) Lisa has a fixed rate, very efficient and money well spent. She has been very effective dealing with tough buyers. You never really know how crazy a buyer can get until inspections are done and you are in final contract. For me the value of the seller side lawyer has always been in taking the ball across the finish line, realtors really only get the buyer to the kick off (IMO)



yahooyahoo

I second Norman_Bates advice. When we purchased in Maplewood our attorney was recommended by the real estate agent. Let's just say the attorney was ineffective and not after our best interests. The seller's attorney put ours to shame.

Norman_Bates said:

Not to endorse any particular attorney but I do want to second the advantage of being represented by an effective counsel in a real estate transaction...and I suggest that it be someone not from Maplewood if that is where the buyers agent is located. Years ago, I sold a house in Maplewood and there were some actions by the buyers and their agent I found questionable The attorney I was using was, essentially, a real estate "paper processor" who seemed unable or unwilling to deal with the buyer's agent. Both were local and the attorney, at least I believe, did not want to offend the agent for fear of not getting referrals in the future if he was too assertive. I ended up having to deal with the issues myself. I learned a lesson. A few months ago, I sold the house I had been living in since that challenging transaction and used an attorney from a nearby town. When the buyers repeatedly stalled at setting a closing date, my attorney calmly but effectively dealt with it and got the deal done. He was not concerned about offending a local real estate agent who might make future referrals. Good luck with your transaction.
maplewood.worldwebs.com/profile/discussions/u/new207040">new207040 said:

call Lisa Breen if you need a great lawyer locally (based out of Millburn) Lisa has a fixed rate, very efficient and money well spent. She has been very effective dealing with tough buyers. You never really know how crazy a buyer can get until inspections are done and you are in final contract. For me the value of the seller side lawyer has always been in taking the ball across the finish line, realtors really only get the buyer to the kick off (IMO)



spontaneous

First lawyer (not local) was a disaster. New lawyer is thorough on paperwork. Now we just have the oil tank fiasco to address.


Diane

Spon, is the tank underground and decommissioned? If so google David Pruit and underground decommissioned oil tanks. He is the new EPA guy and I read somewhere that he is considering modifying the harsh regs on these.


FilmCarp

The regulations are not an issue. If a buyer won't buy with a tank, that's that.


Diane

I am sure this is probably true.

FilmCarp said:

The regulations are not an issue. If a buyer won't buy with a tank, that's that.



peteglider

My guy is a great attorney, even, professional, and won't take cr*p!

Current house, not only were the sellers awful, their attorney was beyond awful (he texted my attorney and I to meet him in the parking lot behind his truck and he'd show us).

While you may be quite sane and reasonable, there are so many parties involved - realtors, mortgage, inspectors, etc that having someone on your side who can fend for you and be a sounding board is more then worth it.


One last thing - without a lawyer you're relying on the sellers to do all the settlement paperwork - if you trust yourself to handle that, then fine.


FilmCarp

If you are the buyer, the only person being paid to represent you is the attorney. The agent is trying to finish the sale.


Philip

Typically it should be a $1,000 for a RE lawyer for the closing.

Recommend Roger Desiderio based in West Orange. I believe the town may you him for some legal stuff. Good guy all around.



yahooyahoo

It's a state thing, not EPA. States are primary party responsible for underground storage tank regs.

Plus NJ lawmakers have allowed all risk and liability to fall on the homeowners.

emmie said:

Spon, is the tank underground and decommissioned? If so google David Pruit and underground decommissioned oil tanks. He is the new EPA guy and I read somewhere that he is considering modifying the harsh regs on these.



LOST


Wesley said:

Typically it should be a $1,000 for a RE lawyer for the closing.

Recommend Roger Desiderio based in West Orange. I believe the town may you him for some legal stuff. Good guy all around.

He is the Township Attorney of Maplewood, a position he has held for over 20 years. Not sure he handles RE Closings.


I dealt with tank removal when I sold my house. You can PM me for further info.


John

The problem is no longer with finding an attorney. We have an attorney with whom we feel competent. The problem is that, when the oil tank was removed, it leaked and a well was set to drain off water to be tested for contamination. The water eventually tested to spec. and the well was closed.

The problem is, we need documentation that the well was properly closed. 

We have a "No Further Action" letter from the state but that only pertains to the contamination from the leaky tank and not about capping the well.


spontaneous

Screw the recommendation for a lawyer, can someone tell me where I can buy some Valium?





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