A joint committee of the Board of Realtors and The Bar Association created the standard residential real estate contract that we use. This was put together to allow buyers and sellers to sign off on their intentions with the comfort that comes from knowing that your attorney can get you out of it or change something that might be harmful to you. That is the intent of the attorney approval contingency that is contained in the contract on page seven.
The starting point for the contract is the execution date. It’s best to give an example- the buyer signs the contract to make an offer, perhaps there are some changes and some negotiation that takes a day or two. Buyer and seller then come to an agreement. The buyer then initials the changes and gives the contract to the seller. The actual date that the seller signs becomes the execution date. It doesn’t matter if it’s a business day, a holiday or a weekend.
Attorney Review Process
The attorney review process is a series of deadlines.
Deadline 1 – Delivery to your attorney. The contract needs to be delivered within two business days to your lawyer. Delivery can be by fax, personal delivery or US Mail. We can fax it for you if you’d like. We recommend deciding who is going to be your lawyer at the beginning of the process when you first put the house up for sale or when you first start looking for a home.
Deadline 2 – Attorney Review Period. The attorney review period lasts for three business days. It begins on whatever date the contract is delivered. Weekends and holidays are never considered business days. It makes sense for you to call your attorney the day after the contract has been delivered. Most of the time someone at the firm has already reviewed it.
Conditional Approval by the Attorney. Conditional approval means that the contract has been reviewed and there are one or more things that need to be changed. Until both buyer and seller agree in writing on these changes, either party can cancel this contract.