The Attorney Review Period in New Jersey Real Estate Contracts
What the Attorney Review period is, how to abide by it and how it impacts your real estate transaction
Attorney ReviewIn every contract prepared by a real estate agent, there is a mandatory three day attorney review clause that begins when the fully executed contract is delivered to the parties. This allows attorneys to cancel or modify the contract within that three day period. If the contract is disapproved, the attorney review clause states that the notice of disapproval must be sent to the broker by "certified mail, by telegram, or by delivering it personally."
Delivery Method and New Case LawIn April 2017, the Supreme Court of New Jersey made a monumental decision regarding the three day attorney review period for real estate contracts. The delivery method of disapproval letters under the attorney review clause was brought into question in the case of Michael Conley, Jr. v. Mona Guerrero. In this case, the Seller's attorney had sent out a cancellation letter via e-mail, which is not one of the permitted delivery methods under the attorney review clause. Although the e-mail was delivered to the Buyers' agent, the Buyers did not accept this as a valid cancellation. In its decision, the Supreme Court discussed the frequency of e-mail and facsimiles in modern day transactions. The Supreme Court of New Jersey unanimously ruled that a disapproval of a real estate contract can now be transmitted by fax, e-mail, personal delivery, or overnight mail with proof of delivery.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey's decision will have a major impact on the attorney review period and future real estate transactions. If you have any questions or comments on how this can impact you or the real estate industry, please do not hesitate to contact Adam Kotlar or Ali Cohen at (856) 751-7676.