Overview from your Oradell Attorney


Buying or selling a home is typically the most important and expensive transaction in which a client will become involved at a given time of their life.  It is a process that can be fraught with potential hazards and conflicts.  It is not to be treated lightly.  It is a serious transaction that has many consequences. 

The Realtor or Real Estate Agents, who help to bring about the signing of the Contract, are experts in the marketing and pricing of a given home in a given area.  Typically, he or she has made a study of the homes and sales (comparables or comps) in your area and rendered a professional opinion as to the price you are paying or receiving.  They are not, however, trained or experienced in the practice of law.  They are there solely to assist you in the selection and pricing of your home as a Buyer or in the listing price you choose as a Seller.  Once a price has been established and agreed to by the parties, the Realtor or Real Estate Agent should step back and allow the legal process to proceed.  At this point your independent attorney represents your personal interests from Contract through closing of title.  The Real Estate Agent works on a commission basis, which is paid by the Seller.  The Real Estate Agent only receives his or her compensation when and if the title closes. 

It is in your interests to begin searching for your closing Attorney long before a Contract is signed.  It is never too early.  Don’t wait until a Contract has been signed to begin searching for an Attorney.  Don’t wait for the referral of a Realtor or Real Estate Agent.  Choose the Attorney to represent you independently of the Realtor, Lender or Title Company. 

Today’s Buyer or Seller needs the experience of a trusted Lawyer practicing in the Oradell area and throughout northern New Jersey, who will protect their interests, irrespective of the interests of anyone else.  It is not the time to look for a “discount” lawyer.  The old adage of “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to the legal road hazards a typical Buyer or Seller may encounter. 

Role of your Oradell Real Estate Attorney

I come to you as an attorney with over 35 years of experience in Real Estate matters.  I have the experience to guide you through what should be a pleasant and exciting experience. 

As your Oradell Attorney I only represent your interests.  I am your personal voice.  I am your personal advocate.  I am your voice, independent of everyone else in the transaction.  I will advise and counsel you based upon my knowledge of the law and my experience, both in and out of court.  My advice and counsel is also based on my knowledge of how a Court would likely rule on a breach of your Contract, if same were to occur, whether by you or the opposite party.  My only concern is you and your interests.  I operate independently of anyone else in the entire process.  My sole guideposts are my client’s wishes and the applicable law and realities of the given situation.

I do not represent the Realtor or Real Estate Agent, even if he or she referred you to me.  In like manner I do not represent the Mortgage Lender/Bank you are using, even if I were to refer you to them.  

My role is to close title for you such that you receive good and clear title to the property you are purchasing with no prior liens or encumbrances of any type.  This involves my actual reading and examination of the Interim Title Commitment for the property as well as the property survey secured through my office. Your interests and those of the Title Insurer can and many times are diametrically opposed.  You need an independent Oradell Attorney familiar with the Bergen County/Northern NJ area to represent your interests.

I will never see the home you are buying or selling.  I do not inspect it.  I do not give opinions as to whether or not the price you are paying or receiving is reasonable.  That is why you have a Realtor or Real Estate Agent.  The Realtor or Real Estate Agent is the expert as to the pricing of the particular home or property.  I am the expert as to the legal issues.  Knowing the difference and maintaining our respective positions allows for a smoother transaction for you.

All communications we have, whether by telephone, e-mail or in person are confidential.  What you say to me is not shared with  the Realtor or Real Estate Agent, your Lender or any other party. Their interests may not always coincide with yours.  Know your rights.  It is important that we be able to discuss all issues freely and openly so that your interests and only your interests are protected.

The advice and counsel I may give you during the transaction is based upon my knowledge of the law and my experience with it, both in and out of the courtroom setting. The advice I render is designed to protect your interests as opposed to the interests of any other party in the transaction.

Your Oradell Attorney's Review of Your

Pre-Closing Home Inspections

The purpose of the Home Inspection process should be to educate you on the condition of the home you are about to buy.  Generally speaking the important issues are concerned with the plumbing, heating/air conditioning, electrical systems, environmental and roof.  These are the so-called “big ticket” items, which may be the most costly, if you are required to repair them in your first year of ownership.

Your inspector should advise you of the possible presence of hazardous (environmental) conditions such as lead water lines, the presence of asbestos, mold and/or radon, etc.

It is important that you are satisfied that there are no “abandoned oil tanks” on the premises and that any older tanks were properly removed, as opposed to decommissioned, with proper permits made available to you.

Upon receipt of your inspection reports I will review them and contact you.  Considering the fact that I have never seen the particular home, I give an independent evaluation based upon the inspection reports as well as your concerns. We will discuss together, the issues arising therein and determine the appropriate position you wish to take.  I will prepare a written request for any and all inspection issues to be addressed.  I encourage all clients to make an appointment and come to my office to discuss the inspection issues.  This part of the process is too important to leave to your Realtor or Real Estate Agent.

Pre-Contract Meeting with Your Oradell

Attorney Your Consultation is Free

Prospective Buyers of a home are encouraged to call for a no cost consultation to better understand the Contract process, the Attorney Review Contingency as well as the rights they may have in their upcoming Contract.  Richard D Kelly will personally meet with you to discuss all aspects of your transaction. You need an independent attorney, with expertise in the area to work on your side and be beholden to no one else in the transaction.  In essence, you need someone to represent your needs apart from the needs of the Realtors or Real Estate Agents, Lenders or Title Companies.  I have closed thousands of transactions in northern New Jersey especially in Bergen County.

Buyers are welcome to discuss any and all aspects of the transaction in advance of dealing with a Realtor or Real Estate Agent or Mortgage Lender.  Any purchase is too big to be left to chance.  Have your independent Attorney ready to lend counsel or advice as to what you are about to do.  Be prepared before anyone tries to lead you in a different direction.

Prospective Sellers are encouraged to call for a free consultation to understand your rights and responsibilities in the home sale process.  This is best accomplished before a successful bid on your home is considered, and in many occasions, before listing your home with a Realtor or Real Estate Agent.  How long is the listing you are about to sign?  How will your home be marketed?  Allow me to be your independent voice to assure a smooth sale of your home as well as a smooth transition to your new locale.  All too often, your interests may be forgotten as you are the ones moving away from the area.  The new Buyers moving to your area may also be prospective Sellers one day.  Make your voice and your interests count. 

Your Title Search & Title Insurance

A Title Search actually involves the search of the property you are buying by researching title issues as to the party selling to you, the party who sold to your seller, open mortgages of any type, easements affecting the property, open liens or judgments against the seller, the seller’s seller (predecessor in title) and you.  Searches are also made as to open property taxes and/or assessments.  I also obtain a new Survey (map) of the property you are buying.  This assists us in determining the existence of any easements or boundary line encroachments by your neighbors or the one selling to you.  These issues are addressed before you close title.

Title Insurance consists of two insurance policies.  The Owner’s Policy insures you up to the amount of the purchase price.  The Lender’s Policy insures your mortgage lender up to the amount of the mortgage you take.  Title insurance is only issued after the closing and after your Real Estate Attorney has “cleared” all of the issues that appear in the Interim Title Commitment.  In other words, the tasks of your Real Estate Attorney do not end at the time of closing.

Your Real Estate Lawyer orders the title search and survey.  The Lender may offer to so order, but it is not necessarily in your interests.  The Lender’s interests are not always the same as yours.  The cost of title insurance depends on the cost of the home you are buying and the endorsements required by your Lender.  The cost of the title insurance is regulated by the State of New Jersey and cannot vary between title companies.  Therefore, there is no such thing as a title company giving a “better deal”.  Do not believe any assertions to the contrary.  You cannot shop for title prices in NJ.

The Title Companies your Oradell Real Estate Lawyer uses are chosen based on past experience with them, their personal knowledge of the northern New Jersey area, their attention to detail, their ability to provide timely searches, their knowledge and interest in dealing with the complex problems that can arise in a search and the speed with which they perform searches after your closing so that the actual policies may be issued in an acceptable fashion.  As your Lawyer I am not compensated in any way by the Title Company or Surveyor I choose

As a part of the closing process your Attorney may require the Title Insurance Company to remove “exceptions to coverage” that may otherwise be in your policy.  As such he examines, or reads every Interim Title Commitment including all prior recorded documents.  This is a time-involved process and is known as Title Examination.  In essence, your Oradell Real Estate Attorney approves the quality of your title independent of the Title Company. 

Our Expertise


If you require Bergen County legal advice or representation, do not hesitate to call Law Office Of Richard D Kelly today. Someone is standing by to help you take your first step towards putting matters of the law behind you. While our specialties include: Real Estate Law, Estates Lawyer and Wills, we offer many other legal services.

  • Real Estate Closings: Buyer & Seller

  • Commercial Closings: Buyer & Seller

  • Sale or Purchase of Business

  • Corporations: Partnerships: Limited Liability Companies

  • Preparation of Wills & Trusts

  • Probate & Estates of Decedents

  • Traffic Offenses: Ordinance Violation

  • Municipal Court Representation

  • Land Use Regulations & Zoning Law: Appearances before Land Use Boards