Buying or selling a house in New Jersey? Be prepared to meet a host of experts, from appraisers to real estate agents to mortgage lenders. Of course, that just starts the list. However, there’s something you should know. Attorneys are the only professionals permitted to provide legal advice on real estate law.
If you’re the seller, there’s a good chance you took some time in finding a realtor. After all, you don’t want just anyone to list your house. One thing is certain. Every ethical real estate agent will suggest you speak with an experienced real estate lawyer with questions about the law.
Meanwhile, the same holds true for buyers. For example, you may decide to use a title agency for your closing. Truth be told, that’s not the usual practice in areas like Essex and Union counties. And, if you face problems during settlement, the closing agent will quickly remind you that she or he is not a lawyer. Even if they think they understand real estate law, they’ll refer you to an attorney.
If you don’t continue further down this list, you’ve already learned the most critical thing. If you’re buying or selling real estate in NJ, you need an attorney to guide you through the process.
Real Estate – Ten Tips for Sellers
- Decide whether you will list your property with a listing agent or try to sell it on your own.
- Negotiate the list price, realtor’s commission, and duration of the listing.
- Make any necessary repairs to your home that may otherwise hurt its sale.
- Determine any items you want to include or exclude from the final sale.
- Ensure you’ve obtained the necessary permits for any home improvements.
- Be prepared to disclose all “material defects” regarding your property.
- Look into the tax consequences of selling your home.
- Locate the survey and deed for your property.
- Have contact information regarding your mortgage company available.
- Understand that you can’t discriminate against prospective buyers in rejecting their offers.
Real Estate – Next Ten for Buyers
- Know that the seller’s agent does not represent you in the transaction.
- Consider acquiring pre-approval for a mortgage loan before you go on the hunt.
- Set a budget that includes purchase price, closing costs, and potential renovations.
- Limit your homebuying search to municipalities and types of houses.
- Make sure the property you want to buy is zoned for your intended use.
- Investigate whether the seller acquired permits for renovations or additions.
- If you’re buying a multi-family house, request rental information.
- Learn the differences associated with condo purchases, including prospective homeowner associations (HOAs) fees.
- Make an offer with expectations that the seller may counteroffer.
- Remember there’s always another house out there if you can’t make a deal.
Real Estate: Legal Considerations and More
- Retain an experienced real estate lawyer as soon as you decide to buy or sell.
- Be wary of using online resources in place of an attorney.
- Know that real estate sales contracts are subject to three-day attorney review.
- You’ll need to make sure any contingencies are put in writing.
- Determine what part of the property, if any, contains protected wetlands.
- Purchasers should insist on a property survey of their own.
- Make sure to arrange for an oil tank inspection.
- Arrange for a home inspector to come in and check the entire premises.
- Sign up for title insurance to avoid problems in the future.
- Know who does what at the closing table.
These top thirty items provide some insight as to why you need an experienced real estate attorney when it comes to buying or selling residential property. Meanwhile, you could come across other reasons that cause you concern.
Need help with a residential real estate transaction? The Law Offices of Lawrence M. Centanni represents both buyers and sellers. Contact us to see how we can help you.