It is common for homebuyers in New Jersey and elsewhere to be in a hurry. They may want a fresh start, or they are facing a deadline with a lease or the sale of their current home. Nevertheless, taking the time to carefully review a residential real estate purchase contract is important to understanding their rights, especially the right to pull out of the deal.

Home purchase contracts include a variety of contingencies. These benefit the potential buyer as well as the seller. Such contingencies may allow the seller to cancel the sale if, for example, the purchase of a new home falls through. The buyer should also have such protections, so a careful reading of the contract is essential for ensuring those contingencies exist.

Contingencies allow the buyers to cancel the sale under certain conditions, such as if the buyers’ lender does not approve their loan application. However, many potential buyers cancel purchase contracts following a home inspection that reveals defects the buyers have no interest in dealing with. This may include mold, lead paint, termites or major septic issues. A title report may also raise concerns that lead to a buyer backing out, such as easements or encroachments on the property line. Without contingencies to address these issues, the buyer may be bound to the sale.

Fortunately, New Jersey homebuyers have the right to seek an attorney to review any contract before they sign. This is a wise move. An attorney can also help the buyers negotiate the contract and guide them through every step of the residential real estate transaction.