Dear TZ: Do I really need to hire an attorney for this deal?

Real Estate Agent with Remax First Realty II 0790808
In most of New Jersey and in many other states, attorneys handle many parts of the transaction.  They fine tune the contract to both parties satisfaction, handle ordering title, title insurance, they also write the deed and file it with the county as well as reporting everything to the IRS.  There are many other things that they're involved in during the transaction, too numerous to list here.  

In fact, the first page of the Standard Real Estate Contract in New Jersey is Opinion 26 which outlines and official opinion delivered by the NJ State Supreme Court, explaining some of the risks of working without an attorney.  This page must be signed by both the buyer, the seller and the buyer's agent.
This is the conversation we had with a buyer recently.
Do you really think I need an attorney?  Everything that I've read says that the buyer in a short sale doesn't need an attorney. It only says to get one if the &%*# hits the fan.  How difficult would this be to just do it myself?  The truth is I really like these kind of things and want to have control over how fast things move.  Let me know your thoughts.
TZ's reply:
Get an attorney!  DO NOT try to do this yourself.  The only person who shouldn't hire an attorney for a real estate deal is a real estate attorney, who knows how to handle everything.  And ONLY if it's a very simple, conventional type of sale.

You're putting yourself and your future home in great risk by not covering all your legal bases.  We ALWAYS recommend that our buyers and sellers use an attorney.  We recently sold a home owned by two attorneys and they hired a real estate attorney to handle the transaction (they also hired one when we sold them the home 3 years ago.)

Even though we understand the documents and actions in a real estate transaction, we can NOT offer you legal advice.  Why?  Simple, we're not lawyers.  This is probably the largest and most important purchase you will make in your entire life.  That's why we think it's worth the small fee you'll pay to a real estate attorney to get the expert advice you may need.

We do NOT recommend that you do this on your own. In fact, we think that you'd be doing yourself a disservice.
Those are our thoughts.
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~ Wayne & Jean 

Union County, NJ - a great place to live and work!

If you're looking to buy or sell a property in Union County, call us at 908-917-4189 or email


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All opinions, information and data provided is deemed reliable but is subject to errors and omissions. Not intended to solicit other Brokers' clients. We cooperate with them fully. 

Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Wayne and Jean, great advice, we get asked legal questions all the time, unfortunately, we can not answer them as that would be practicing law without a license. FL is a title state, however, I do let my clients know when it would be a good idea to hire an attorney. With short sales, they should always have one no matter which state(IMHO).

Nov 30, 2015 01:00 AM
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

should I get an atty? YES.. do you think I should get an atty? YES.. uh should an atty read this paperwork for me? YES... the only answer is YES...

Nov 30, 2015 02:58 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

Yes, great advice here.  An attorney may not be an absolute necessity for a standard transaction with no curveballs, but having one in your corner can save so much headache and future grief.  

Nov 30, 2015 04:25 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

When attorneys hire attorneys you know that there is something to it. Even they realize they can't know everything.

Nov 30, 2015 10:45 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Wayne & Jean, great information, and especially in a short sale situation, which can be pretty crazy for those who KNOW what they are doing!

Dec 01, 2015 04:12 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Wayne and Jean - New York is similar.  The buyers attorney orders the title and works with the sellers attorney.  That being said, get one that specializes in real estate.

Dec 06, 2015 08:43 AM