Buying a home should feel like a big step forward, one worth getting excited about. Yet oftentimes, a frustrating reality gets in the way: this is not a simple process. It’s not just the endless paperwork or lengthy timelines – it’s those unexpected, unpleasant surprises that pop up.

According to recent figures from the National Association of Realtors, more than one in every five closings are delayed. Oftentimes these holdups can be due to problems such as:

  • Appraisal issues
  • Problems discovered during the home inspection
  • Environmental questions
  • Titling or deed inconsistencies
  • Issues with home, hazard or flood insurance
  • Contract contingencies

These are precisely the kinds of problems a real estate attorney can help address.

What a real estate attorney actually does

New Jersey is not one of the states that require all homebuyers to have an attorney, but anyone can choose to do so. During a real estate transaction, a lawyer is there to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. They can do a few main things for you, such as:

  • Review all paperwork to make sure it is accurate and in your best interest
  • Represent you during the complex closing process
  • Help negotiate should unexpected problems arise (such as the late discovery of a roofing issue, for example)
  • Assist in resolving problems that can delay the closing

An attorney is essentially your backstop and support during this complicated, costly process. While hiring a lawyer is not required, doing so can provide a real sense of security. Rather than going through this alone, you’ll have someone looking out for you every step of the way.