Simply put, a contract is a promise enforceable by law. So in order for a contract to exist, there must be both an agreement and a resulting legal obligation.
In New Jersey, real estate contracts are governed by the Statute of Frauds. Two sections of the Statute are vital in the transfer of real estate in NJ:
NJSA 25:1-12, writing requirements, leases.
NJSA 25:1-13, enforceability of agreements regarding real estate.
Licensed NJ real estate brokers and salespersons may fill in the blank spaces in approved standard contract forms for contracts for:
1. the sale of residential real estate containing one to four dwelling units in which they have a commission or fee interest as long as the contract contains an attorney review clause language.
2. leases for a term of one year or more for residential dwelling units in transactions which they have a commission or fee interest as long as the lease contains the attorney review clause language.
A realtor is not an attorney and cannot give legal advise. By law, a broker or salesperson must advise both parties of a transaction of the general risk attendant upon their not being represented by counsel. Not only do they have to advise parties, but they are also required to have them read & sign a written notice disclosing this before signing any contracts.
(opinion 26 of the Court’s Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law)