Use the toggles below to find answers to frequently asked questions. If you have a question that’s not listed on this page, please contact us.
The purchase of a home is the biggest investment most of us will ever make and a real estate closing is a complicated legal process involving the execution of many legal documents which have significant financial implications; for example, the contract of sale, mortgage note, mortgage, settlement statement, deed and many other documents. An attorney will examine the closing documents on your behalf to make sure your rights are protected. Anxiety is a natural part of buying or selling a home, and the guidance of a competent attorney can reduce anxiety and make it a positive experience for you.
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You need to learn as much as you can about the condition of the property before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterward.
The standard home inspector’s report will review the home’s heating and air conditioning system, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; and the foundation, basement and visible structure.
Your real estate contract may obligate the seller to repair any defects to the home. However, unless you notify the seller of the defects prior to closing and request that they be remedied, you may lose your right to have the seller make the repairs.
A home inspector is typically contacted immediately or within a few days after the contract has been signed. Do not delay ordering the home inspection or delivering a copy of the inspection report to the seller; often, the contract will limit the seller’s repair obligations to matters which the seller has received written notification of within 14 days of the contract date. Also, before you sign the contract, make sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection.
Even if the home inspection proves the home to be in good condition, it was still a good idea to have one done. With the home inspection report in hand, you can complete your home purchase with full knowledge of the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will want to keep that information for future reference.
Title Insurance is protection from past events which may or may not be a part of the public records, but that can affect a new owner’s interest in the property being sold to them.
Title Insurance protects against title defects, such as fraud, forgery, incompetence or missing heirs that even the most diligent title search may not discover.
Many laws in NJ protect the owner of a property and the owner’s heirs. However, laws also protect others with rights to a property such as mortgage and lien holders, municipalities and the United States (for tax liens), and others with rights to fuel and natural resources. Because of the laws protecting both owners and others who have an interest in the property, property should only be purchased after an extensive investigation of the title. Despite these careful investigations, issues can arise like errors on the record, missing heirs, mental incompetence of the seller, marital status, etc. The only protection a property owner can get against the above is the purchase of a title insurance policy.
A surveyor visits the property and identifies such items as anything built on the property (like a house or shed) or anything that crosses the property (like electrical lines). These items are noted in their relationship to property lines and their proximity to adjoining properties or the street. The survey is used to create a legal description which is attached to the Deed. The surveyor may discover an improvement which may not have been on a prior survey which leads our attorneys to inquire and confirm that the proper permits and certificates of completion were issued with respect to such improvements.