Last updated on March 6, 2024

What Can Go Wrong With Attorney Review?

When buying or selling a home, it is important to make sure that every step you take will ultimately lead to you getting the best deal out of your transaction. This is where an experienced NYC real estate attorney can help. A skilled attorney may be able to help you understand the process of buying a property in New York.

Before you close a transaction, your contract will have to go through a process called an “attorney review.” Many people can be confused by this part of the process, however, it’s a necessary part of securing your dream home. During this process, both the buyer and the seller’s lawyers will review the contract to ensure that everything is legal and fair. 

You may wonder: what can go wrong during the attorney review? The answer is that a lot of things can go wrong during this stage. Most real estate transactions fall apart during the attorney review stage of the real estate buy/sell process. Because the contract is not yet legally binding at this point, the seller or the buyer may back out from the transaction without any penalties. Sellers are also still able to entertain another offer as long as the attorney review process is not yet over. 

If you are looking to buy or sell a property in New York, the attorney review process is an essential step to take. Speak to a skilled NYC real estate attorney at Sishodia PLLC or read on to learn more about the process.

What is an Attorney Review? 

As mentioned above, an attorney review is one of the many steps in a real estate transaction. At this stage of the transaction, the lawyers from both parties will review the contract. 

The lawyers will then negotiate (if they have to) with the other party to ensure that the transaction is fair to both parties. This process usually takes three business days and either lawyer is able to recommend changes to the contract. 

An attorney review helps protect the rights of both the buyer and the seller. Attorneys take the time to make sure everything is correct. While this process is expected to conclude in three business days, other important concerns between the parties may warrant an extension to the deadline. 

What Happens During the Attorney Review? 

During the review period, buyers and sellers have the opportunity to talk with their attorneys. Their attorney can then review the terms of their contract, make modifications, or “disapprove” the agreement. 

The attorney review period often takes three to five business days and begins when the buyer’s side receives a copy of the draft contract of sale. 

Speaking to a skilled real estate attorney in NYC can help you understand your roles and responsibilities in the transaction. Contact Sishodia PLLC today to speak with a top-rated New York real estate lawyer. 

Can Seller Accept Another Offer During Attorney Review?

When you’ve finally signed a contract on your dream home, you might think the deal is nearly done. However, there’s a crucial phase known as the attorney review period that can bring unexpected turns. During this time, the question arises: Can the seller accept another offer?

The answer is, surprisingly, yes. The attorney review period is a window that allows both buyers and sellers to have their attorneys check the contract for any legal issues. This period typically lasts about three to five days, although the exact duration can vary by state and the terms agreed upon in the contract.

It’s important to understand that during this attorney review, the seller retains the right to consider and accept other offers. They are not obligated to inform the current buyer about these new developments. This could potentially lead to a situation where a higher bid might sway a seller, leaving the initial buyer out in the cold.

For buyers, this means that until the attorney review is completed and the contract is fully ratified, the agreement is somewhat tentative. It’s essential to stay in close communication with your real estate agent and attorney throughout this stage to respond swiftly if any new offers are presented.

Issues Negotiated During the Attorney Review Process

There are many matters that need to be discussed and agreed upon by both parties with the help of a lawyer. Here are some of the issues discussed during the attorney review that need to be resolved during negotiation:

  • Deposit Due Date: The deadline by which you need to pay the deposit.
  • Scope of Inspection: The extent to which you can inspect the property to ensure that it is in good condition.
  • Mortgage Commitment: The time period given to the buyer to obtain a mortgage loan.
  • Funding Contingency: mortgage contingency after commitment date and before the Closing. 
  • Date of Closing: The date on which the property ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Apart from the aforementioned issues, there may be other things that need to be discussed and agreed upon as well including

  • Home Sale Contingency: If the buyer needs to sell their current home before buying the new one, they may include this contingency in the contract.
  • Replacement Home Contingency: If the seller needs time to find a new home before moving out of the current property, they may include this contingency in the contract.
  • Use and Occupancy Agreement: If the seller needs to stay in the property for some time after the closing, they may sign an agreement to pay the buyer’s carrying costs such as daily mortgage and tax expenses.

All these issues need to be resolved during the attorney review period to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the terms of the contract.

What to Look for in a Real Estate Contract

When reviewing a real estate contract, it’s essential to look for key terms and details to ensure that you are protected during the sale process. Here are some critical factors to consider:

Financing Terms

Contracts should detail how you intend to pay for the property. This includes your down payment and mortgage contingency. 

Closing costs

It should be clear in the document who will pay the closing costs. The contract should also state how much each party will pay in dollar amounts.

Fee Responsibilities 

It’s crucial to understand how much each party will pay for escrow fees, realtor fees, title insurance, transfer taxes, flip tas, and any other fees involved in the sale. These terms are often negotiated before signing a contract, and their exact distribution should be clear in the document.

Home Inspection Terms

A home inspection contingency should be included in the contract, allowing the buyer to withdraw their offer and have their earnest money returned under specific conditions. Common contingencies include mold growth, foundation problems, pests, and radon.

Fixtures, Appliances, and Furniture 

The contract should clearly state whether light fixtures, windows, doors, and domestic appliances are included in the sale. If the owner is including any furniture in the sale, they must provide a list of the belongings and their value, which should be factored into the final price of the house.

Closing Date

The contract should specify the closing date, which typically takes between 30 and 90 days. Certain contingencies can be included in the contract that allows the buyer or seller to cancel the transaction under specific conditions.

While these are the most common terms found in real estate contracts, your document may include other relevant factors. The best way to ensure you are fully protected during the sale process is by having an attorney conduct a real estate contract review.

If you are looking for an experienced lawyer for a real estate transaction, contact Sishodia PLLC. Our team of experienced real estate attorneys may be able to help answer your questions about the contract and help ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities. Call us today to schedule a consultation. 

Aspect Details to Verify
Financing Terms Details on down payment and mortgage contingency.
Closing Costs Clarity on who pays closing costs and dollar amounts.
Fee Responsibilities Understanding of fees such as escrow, realtor fees, title insurance, transfer taxes, and others, and how they are distributed.
Home Inspection Terms Presence of a home inspection contingency, conditions for withdrawing an offer, and specific inspection concerns like mold, foundation, pests, and radon.
Fixtures, Appliances, and Furniture Clarity on whether fixtures, appliances, and furniture are included in the sale, along with a list of items and their value if applicable.
Closing Date Specification of the closing date (usually 30 to 90 days) and any contingencies that allow transaction cancellation under specific conditions.

The Importance of Having a Lawyer in a Real Estate Contract

An attorney can help you understand the legal terms and provisions of the contract and negotiate terms in your favor. They can also review the financing terms, closing costs, and fee responsibilities to ensure that everything is clear and fair for both parties. Additionally, they can review the home inspection terms and identify any contingencies that may affect the sale or purchase of the property.

The benefits of having an attorney review your real estate contract include:

  • Protecting your legal rights: An attorney can ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the process.
  • Identifying potential issues: An attorney can identify potential problems in the contract and help you avoid them.
  • Negotiating favorable terms: An attorney can help you negotiate favorable terms that benefit you.
  • Ensuring clarity: An attorney can ensure that the contract terms are clear and that you understand what you are agreeing to.
  • Providing guidance: An attorney can provide guidance on how to proceed if any issues arise during the transaction.

In conclusion, it is important to have an attorney review your real estate contract to ensure that your best interests are represented and protected during every step of the process. The relatively small legal fee paid to have an attorney review the contract is well worth it to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly, and your financial and legal rights are protected. 

Contact the Top-Rated Real Estate Lawyers at Sishodia PLLC Today

Buying or selling a home is a significant financial transaction that involves signing a contract. It’s crucial to review the agreement carefully to ensure that you understand the terms and protect your legal rights. Therefore, having an attorney review the contract can help identify potential issues and ensure that your interests are adequately protected.

Contact Sishodia PLLC for your real estate transactions. Our team of skilled real estate attorneys may be able to help you answer your questions about the transaction and help you protect your best interests. Contact us at (833) 616-4646 to schedule a consultation. 

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