In any real estate transaction, your attorney plays a critical role to ensure that you are properly represented. When buying real estate, legal malpractice can be devastating. You lawyer should protect you against certain risks with a thorough review of the purchase contract.
A buyer needs protection if he/she is unsuccessful in getting a mortgage. A mortgage contingency clause allows the buyer, under some circumstances, to get out of a purchase contract. The failure to include such a clause in the contract can constitute real estate legal malpractice.
Environmental issues can come up in the purchase of real estate. Underground oil tanks can leak over time. A lawyer should be vigilant to protect a buyers rights in the event of environmental issues, including having the right to conduct environmental assessment.
A lawyer is sometimes responsible for ordering and reviewing a title search. Real estate legal malpractice can occur if a lawyer fails to spot problems in the chain of ownership or title to the property. If the seller has a judgment against him/her, a lawyer can also be responsible for discovering it. A judgment against a seller can jeopardize the interest in the property being sold.
Certificate of Occupancy
There are also times when a property may appear to be something that it is not. For instance, a home being sold as a two-family home might actually be only a legal one family home. A lawyer can sometimes be responsible for obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy for the property. In Saddle Brook, Bergen County, New Jersey, we successfully pursued a legal malpractice matter involving the failure of an attorney to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy for the buyer’s intended use.
A lawyer is also responsible to make sure that a purchaser understands the foreseeable risks of the transaction. In Ocean County, we successfully pursued a real estate legal malpractice matter involving a Lakewood attorney’s failure to properly advise his client on the risks of a real estate transaction.
In real estate transaction legal malpractice cases, Mr. Wronko has worked with expert witnesses, including lawyers who handle real estate transactions, and other real estate professionals such as realtors and appraisers. Please contact us or call us for a free, initial telephone consultation.