Sunday, September 25, 2022

Signing a contract for the purchase of a home is probably the most expensive item you will buy in your lifetime. Why should you not seek the advice of an attorney? New Jersey is one of the strictest states when it comes to environmental law. Each town has its own criteria to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. Contract Law is very detailed in this state and an attorney will guide you through the process and protect your rights. This is true whether you are the buyer or the seller.

Just because you have a sibling or an in-law who is an attorney, don’t try to cut corners if they don’t practice real estate law in New Jersey. If they are New York lawyers they will not be able to close the deal and will have to bring a New Jersey attorney to the closing. If you are buying a home from an estate, your attorney will do the Title Search and make sure the contract has the proper names and signatures to execute a valid contract.

The offer to purchase is in contract form and is usually prepared by the realtors in the transaction. The State of New Jersey established an Attorney Review Period of three business days to give the attorneys time to review the contract, make changes, add riders and approve or disapprove the contract in its final form. When riders are prepared by the attorneys the review period is extended and will not conclude until the lawyers are satisfied and all the changes are signed off on.

Your lawyer will review the written inspection report after he receives it. If there are serious issues, he will bring this to the attention of the seller’s lawyer, in writing. This will result in many emails back and forth until a final version is agreed upon. As a realtor, I would be remiss in giving you advice that is not in my area of expertise.

If you ask for my advice, I will supply you with the names of three attorneys, three inspectors and three mortgage brokers/bankers. You need to feel comfortable with these professionals in the transaction.

After you get your mortgage commitment your attorney will prepare for the closing and he will advise you how the funds are going to be disbursed and how much the closing costs will be. There is usually a sticker shock so be forewarned. Mazel and Bracha in your new home. To all the readers, G’mar Tov.

Martha (Malkie) Aaron is a Broker/Salesperson at Anhalt Realty.

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