Commercial & Residential Real Estate

Real estate transactions are often some of the most significant financial transactions in a person or entity’s lifetime. But they can get complicated, fast – with contract and title issues, mortgage commitments, property damage and repairs, zoning laws, easements, and land use rules. Our team of real estate attorneys have zealously negotiated the best possible terms and successfully closed deals for both private and commercial real estate clients for decades.

Real estate law differs across different locales. When you work with our team, we represent your best interests at every step of the real estate transaction process, wherever your asset is located. Real estate law is incredibly nuanced, whether you are looking at site plan and/or zoning approval, retail, senior care, office, industrial or residential development, leasing, real estate tax appeals, or condemnation or eminent domain. Getting an attorney involved as early as possible is the best way to know exactly what you are getting in the deal and guard against costly property disputes later on.

Our firm is experienced in all aspect of commercial and residential real estate transactions, bring a legal team to the table with decades of experience in both the most straight-forward and the most complicated real estate transactions. 


Serving New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Our experienced legal team has successfully negotiated and closed residential and commercial real estate deals for clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1995. No two real estate transactions are the same – every client and every piece of property is unique, which is why we approach every case with our client’s goals at the forefront of our legal strategy.

If your real estate transaction involves a jurisdiction other than New Jersey or Pennsylvania, we can retain local counsel in that specific jurisdiction for you to ensure compliance with applicable law in that state and supervise all legal efforts on your behalf. 

Ready to move forward with you or your company’s real estate interests? Contact us today to get started with your free consultation.

Real Estate and Property Law FAQ's

If you desire to engage in a commercial ground-up or redevelopment project, you have a road ahead of you that requires detailed organization and the right team. You will be faced with issues including negotiating the terms of the deal with the present owner, being engaged in a critical due diligence process to make sure that the project will work for you, land use and/or zoning approval, geotechnical issues such as soil qualification/compaction, Phase I and possibly Phase II environmental inspections, leasing and/or owner/occupier issues and pre-construction and construction concerns.

To work your way though the complicated issues involved in a ground-up development or redevelopment project, you need to build a strong and experienced professional team, which can be spearheaded by your legal counsel, who often can assist you in bringing other qualified professionals to the table.

The arena of financing commercial real estate transactions is one that has been long established but one in which creative structure can play a major role. In the financing process, you first need to consider how much “equity”, which is out of pocket self-funded monies you and/or your company will need to supply for the transaction. In a typical commercial real estate deal, that can range from 20% to 40%, with 25% being typical. If you don’t have that equity funding in hand, you will need to obtain it from perhaps a partner or equity investor. You will also need to approach a debt lender, which can be a bank or other financial institution or perhaps a private debt lender. There are creative means of assisting you in this process, such as understanding federal, state and local incentives that you could be eligible for, including Enterprise Zone funding, streetscape subsidies, investment tax credit opportunities and more.

It is critical that you assemble the right legal team and finance professionals to assist you in this process. Your real estate counsel and outside accounting firm can work in tandem with you to enable you to achieve your real estate funding and financing objectives.

Yes. Unlike some other states, neither New Jersey nor Pennsylvania requires real estate buyers or sellers to have legal representation. However, you should always get a lawyer involved when you’re dealing with the complexities of real estate law.

Real estate is the most important transaction most people make in their lifetime. You want to make sure you’re protected at all times.

If you fail to get proper legal counsel for your real estate transaction, you’re vulnerable to unpleasant surprises down the line. You may not be aware of an easement, lien, or covenant on the property that might seriously affect its use. Your attorney watches out for these issues so that you don’t fall prey to bad real estate deals.

New Jersey does not require that you have an attorney to close a real estate deal. However, you should always have a lawyer review such substantial financial transactions. The residential real estate process in New Jersey actually has a 3 business day attorney review period baked in after the buyer and seller agree on an offer and sign the sales contract, if prepared by a real estate agent. However, our team can prepare a contract with your needs in mind. In Pennsylvania, the process starts once a sales contract has been signed. 

As part of the real estate process, you’ll complete a title search to account for all deeds, mortgages, liens, and other interests on the property. Before closing, your attorney will help ensure all documents are complete and all deadlines are met. At closing, we can review all of the submitted documents and assist you at your closing to understand everything you’re signing.

Even if the law doesn’t require you to hire an attorney for a real estate transaction, it’s always best to get the proper legal advice when investing in such high-value assets. For residential real estate, you should contact an attorney either before your contract is signed or during the three business day attorney review period if the contract was prepared by a real estate agent.

You should bring in a lawyer for your real estate transaction to:

  • Negotiate and draft your real estate contract for a fair agreement,
  • Review and negotiate an already signed contract,
  • Assist with inspection process and negotiate repairs,
  • Check ownership and bona fide chain of title before transfer,
  • Make sure the proper closing procedures are followed, including helping you understand what each document means at closing and
  • Help you understand your legal rights in the transaction each step of the way.

Your attorney’s job is to look out for any issues or problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. With such major financial and investment decisions on the line, an experienced real estate lawyer can make all the difference in how your deal goes through.

When it comes to finding the best real estate lawyer for you, it’s important to keep a few points in mind. First: do you feel seen and heard? Your attorney should understand your goals and prioritize your best interests above all else. Also, consider your lawyer’s level of experience. How long have they been practicing in this area? Are they adept at negotiating favorable terms in a market that is cutthroat at times? Do they have a good reputation in the community?

At Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, we’ve served the New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities in real estate transactions for decades. We’re committed to personalized attention and getting results for our clients, providing you the information and representation you need to succeed.

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