94 N.J.L.J. 445
May 27, 1971
Builder's Advertisement: "No Closing Costs"
The issue covered by this opinion concerns advertisements by
a builder that there will be "no closing costs" (or similar
terminology) for the buyer, coupled with a course of action in
connection with the sale of the property which discourages the
presence of buyers' attorneys.
Advertisements appear in newspapers and read, in part, "no closing costs" (or similar terminology). The builder has stated that such a phrase is used to assure the public that he is providing homes at a reasonable cost and that the price quoted is complete with no additional costs being imposed at settlement. He is careful to avoid saying "no closing fees." However, the layman may reasonably interpret this phrase as implying (1) he will not bear the legal costs incident to the closing, and (2) he does not need to secure the services of a lawyer, inasmuch as the builder will handle all those aspects of the transaction.
Whether such advertisement of "no closing costs" (or similar terminology) standing alone does constitute the unauthorized practice of law, we need not decide at this time. We hold that such an advertisement does constitute the unauthorized with the following course of action: