Having a dual license to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey can be a smart way to increase your revenue. But navigating settlements across state lines can be difficult.  The laws in Pennsylvania versus New Jersey vary. While it’s common practice—and at times extremely important—to use attorneys in New Jersey, it’s not so common in Pennsylvania.  So what do you need to know when your buyers want to cross state lines and purchase in the state you are less familiar with?  Trident is here to help!

Navigating New Jersey Transactions

LAW OPINION 26 –  The practice of conducting residential real estate closings or settlements without the presence of attorneys to represent the seller and the buyer shall not constitute the unauthorized practice of law so long as the broker conforms to specific conditions—the broker must notify both buyer and seller of the conflicting interests of brokers and title companies in these matters and of the general risk involved in not being represented by an attorney.” -Justia US Law

While it is not mandatory to hire an attorney for your purchase or sale in New Jersey, it’s important to know why so many folks do. Unlike Pennsylvania law, New Jersey law requires three days for an Attorney Review after an agreement of sale has been signed. During this time attorneys can review, modify, and negotiate the purchase and sales agreement. Both buyers’ and sellers’ attorneys may seek additional protections not covered in a standard agreement of sale, such as inspection negotiations, review of the contract and deadlines; they may also address problems at the settlement and provide legal advice. The contract does not become final until those three days have concluded and all parties are in agreement. This period can be extended if all parties agree.

Once this time period is up, the sale agreement becomes fully binding. Inspections take place, financing is obtained, and the title process begins to get your clients to settlement. At Trident, we ensure your transaction is processed seamlessly and you will be updated throughout.

Here are some guidelines for Pennsylvania agents selling in New Jersey to help you through the process at Trident: 

You Have the Buyer – No Attorney Involved 

  1. Submit your completed file into your Pennsylvania office administrator (Or you can open it in the Transaction Room and invite them).
  2. Your Pennsylvania office administrator will communicate with your New Jersey office.
  3. You will receive confirmation of the sale from our team.
  4. We will contact you as the agent to let you know what is needed on the file and coordinate the services necessary with both sides of the transaction. Agents will be contacted on every cross-state file.

You Have the Buyer – With an Attorney Involved 

The steps are the same as above, but be aware that:

  • It’s important to use the Approved Attorney List so the buyers choose an attorney. who has been proven to be a reputable Real Estate Attorney and who will also work. well with Trident Land.
  • The Attorney orders the file  with Trident Land, not the REALTOR®.
  • There will most likely be an attorney on both sides of the transaction.

Navigating Pennsylvania Transactions

In Pennsylvania the process is a bit different.  In the majority of cases there is not an attorney involved although either buyer or seller are welcome to retain one.  There is no attorney review period, the agent does the negotiations on all items i.e sales price, inspections, credits etc. Once the agreement of sale is signed it is binding with termination only possible through the language built into the agreement of sale and with a signed termination by all parties.  In general, the title company acts as the conductor. We review the title and provide detailed explanations of what’s needed to clear title, we make sure the listing side is working on gathering everything needed to clear title and assist as needed, and we work closely with the buyer’s mortgage company to make sure the lender’s Closing Disclosure is balanced and accurate before settlement.  There are a few things to be aware of to get the process going smoothly:

Here are some guidelines for New Jersey agents selling in Pennsylvania to help you through the process at Trident: 

  1. Your office administrator in New Jersey will open the file and will send all paperwork to your Pennsylvania office administrator through the transaction room.
  2. Your Pennsylvania office administrator will order the title with Trident Land Transfer and we will get started right away.
  3. Our settlement coordinators will review your file and will begin to determine what is needed and communicate with all parties involved.
  4. Your settlement coordinator is the key to your transaction and is in constant communication with you as the agent.
  5. The title company will confirm everything is cleared and ready for settlement.

We know it can be challenging navigating the waters between two states.  It’s important to us that you are comfortable with the process and understand the steps involved leading up to settlement. Since your settlement coordinator is the key role to get you & your clients to settlement, make sure you know who they are and know the importance of communicating with them throughout the transaction. We look forward to working with you!